|Birth: ||Feb. 2, 1968, Pakistan|
|Death: ||Mar. 2, 2005|
Spc. Ali, Azhar
Hometown: New York, NY
Date of Death: 3/2/2005
Incident Location: Baghdad
Branch of Military: Army
Unit: 1st Battalion, 69th Regiment
Unit's Base: New York, N.Y.
Azhar Ali left Pakistan for New York at the age of 14 and dreamed of becoming a police officer. He planned to join the New York Police Department after serving in the National Guard. "When I heard he was going to Iraq for America, I was proud," said his father, Mubarak Ali, who lives in Pakistan. "He was a very sweet son _ very loving, caring." Azhar Ali, 27, of New York, was killed March 2 when an explosive detonated near his vehicle in Baghdad. He was based in New York. One of nine children, Ali joined the military after graduating from high school and patrolled Grand Central Terminal after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The day he died, he was part of a crew that responded to another roadside bombing and rescued those who were wounded. "He died a great soldier," said Sgt. Adrian Melendez.
The distraught family of a Queens soldier killed in Iraq made a desperate plea yesterday for the slain man's parents to be granted entry to New York for a Muslim funeral.
Spc. Azhar Ali, 27, was killed Tuesday in what military officials said was a roadside ambush at an insurgent hot spot near the Iraqi airport.
He was a scout for the famous "Fighting 69th" Regiment, which has lost six New York area members since the fighting started.
In what family members and a city councilman described as an insensitive slight, Ali's parents, in their native Pakistan, never knew that their son was killed until late last week, well beyond the 24-hour period in which Muslims must be buried.
"At least, what this country, this government can do for us is to get his family here," said Sunny Sharif, 25, Ali's cousin. "The death he had is not pleasant, of course. We just want to hold his funeral as soon as possible so his soul can be in peace."
Adding to the family's grief, Ali's father, Mubarak Ali, and mother, Mushtar Begun, who live about 30 minutes north of Karachi, have faced hostility by local media and others in Pakistan who hold anti-American views, the victim's brother said.
"We wanted to take our brother's body to Pakistan, but now it's too late," said the brother, Zulfiqar Ali, 33.
"In the future, what happens, God knows," Ali added. "But right now, I just want to have the family here for the funeral."
A funeral for Ali will be held in Kew Gardens Hills, where he attend John Bowne High School high school before joining the 69th Infantry in 1998. He will be buried in a Muslim cemetery on Long Island, family members said.
"The emotional drain of losing a son is simply unspeakable," said City Councilman John Liu (D-Flushing), who is joining Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) in helping the family. "The additional ordeals that the family has been put through are unconscionable."
Ali was laid to rest on Friday March 19th, 2005 at the Jamacia Muslim Center in the Queens section of New York. Mourners were led in a final prayer by Imam Moulana Abu Zafar Beg. Above the soldiers and mourners flew three Army helicopters as part of a 21-gun salute.
Jamacia Muslim Center
New York, USA
Plot: Long Island, N.Y.
Created by: Rosie
Record added: Dec 05, 2005
Find A Grave Memorial# 12607625