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Continued: Pakistani immigrant in Boston feared backlash that never came

  • Article by: LISA WANGSNESS , Boston Globe
  • Last update: April 20, 2014 - 9:26 PM

“It was an unbelievable moment for me, and it was really indicative of the type of relationships that we now have across institutions and across communities,” Khalil said. “Because it wasn’t just the leaders being welcoming. … It was everybody in that temple being welcoming.”

The Boston Marathon was always part of Syed’s life growing up. But Syed, 26, who works at Oracle Corp., never imagined running until after the bombings.

“It’s a part of the tradition of your city,” he said. “You look forward to it every single year. And you understand how jubilant an event it is. And that was taken away.”

But what wasn’t taken away after the tragedy was his sense of belonging.

The day after the bombings, Syed put on a hoodie and went for his first training run along the Charles River. Along the path were messages scrawled in chalk: Live with no fear. Stay strong.

“Not to be corny, but I kind of felt like there was a city behind me,” said Syed.

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