Humble Man of the World
"He was a man without frontiers, without borders."
That is how Simon A. Dhanani was described by the man who regarded himself as Mr. Dhanani's best friend. "My wife called us the odd couple," Albano Martell said of his friend. Mr. Martell, 46, was the voluble one of the pair; Mr. Dhanani, 62, the quiet, humble one. They shared a love of poetry, Andalusian music, talk of world religion. They both loved to eat. "It was the perfect marriage," Mr. Martell said.
Mr. Dhanani was a vice president at Aon, on the 99th floor of 2 World Trade Center. He lived alone in Hartsdale, N.Y. But he had a fixed chair at the Martells' dining table.
The weekend before the attack, Mr. Dhanani visited their home in nearby Ardsley. They drank a glass of wine. They listened to a new album of Andalusian music until late into the evening. They made plans to go to a Korean restaurant the following week. "He was a humble, kind, universal man,"Mr. Martell said. "He really enjoyed the mosaic of the world."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 10, 2001.