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"Do, or else do not. There is no 'try'" - Yoda
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- Fighting For Their Country
- An Indian Martyr In the US Army
- Un-Conventional Choice
- Gates of Freedom Require Vigilance and Sacrifice
- Saving the Whole World
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- Indian Real Estate
Special Report
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- The Man in Black In Bollywood
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- A Good Year For Archie!
- The First Time
- Waterborne Skips to Google
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Wednesday June 19, 2024
Cover Theme: South Asians In the U.S. Military
An Indian Martyr In The U.S. Army
Vol: 1 Num: 2    Spring 2006
He was a Bohra Muslim from Dahod who came to the USA after finishing his Computer Science degree and gave ultimate sacrifice in Iraq.

When 21 year old software engineer Hatim S. Kathiria enlisted in the U.S. Army, he and his family thought that he would be using his software skills to run computer systems to track supplies and parts in the materials supply department. Fate however had planned a different outcome, when on August 22, 2005 Specialist Kathiria found a rocket exploding next to him in Baghdad. He died later in the hospital.

The only son, Kathiria was born on July 1, 1982 in Dahod, Gujarat, India to Siraj and Shirin Kathiria. His hometown was once engulfed in the communal violence of 2002, although at that time Kathiria was studying away at Madurai Kamraj University in Madurai, Tamil Nadu. Shortly after completing his under-grad degree in computer science, he immigrated to the USA in June 2003.

Initially he worked as a gas station attendant but in November 2003, enlisted in the army with a four year commitment to expedite his naturalization process and to get money for education. He got his U.S. citizenship in January 2005 just before getting shipped out to Iraq. Few weeks earlier he had also got married and his wife too was stationed in Iraq. He was a logistical specialist assigned to 703rd Forward Support Battalion, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division.

His father had a scrap shop, which he had to close some time back and Kathiria was apparently the sole breadwinner for the family. In an interview with The Indian Express Kathiria’s uncle said that just before his death Kathiria had wished to be buried in his home town. Local newspapers report that his funeral in Dahod was attended by over 2,000 people, shouting "long live Indian Martyr".

Bohra Muslims like Kathirias are well known for their trading competency but the community was proud of his service in the U.S. Army. The local Imam, Rehman Faiz, also said that he was a true Indian who fought against terrorism.

Just a day before his death, Kathiria had called his parents and asked them to, "pray for me".

is the publisher and editor-in-chief of Mood Indico magazine, a niche publication for the affluent South Asians living in the north America


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