Ways to Amass Friends
Ramzi Doany amassed friends. He amassed them with acts of kindness, like tutoring a woman with lupus, two children and no husband, to get her through college, or letting his college roommate and the roommate's wife live in his condo for two years so they could save money for a down payment on a house.
He amassed friends with his sense of humor, which filled a room and flourished at an early age. As a boy of 9 or 10, young Ramzi dug a hole in the backyard for a terrible report card and put a stone on top. "He said it was dead and buried," said his sister, Dina Doany Azzam.
Mr. Doany was born to Palestinian parents in Amman, Jordan, and lived for many years in Milwaukee. At 35, he devoured the novels of Dickens, cooked Thanksgiving turkeys with great pride (even if they were just a bit dry) and had just bought a Harley- Davidson motorcycle. He chose to work as a forensic accountant last March for Marsh & McLennan, the insurance brokerage company, because it would bring him to New York, a city he loved. The job also brought him to the World Trade Center.
It was a funny sort of journey, his sister said.
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on October 9, 2001.