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Shabbir Ahmed

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Shabbir Ahmed had worked as a waiter in his share of swank city restaurants since immigrating from Bangladesh in 1981, but Windows on the World was such a favorite that he stayed 11 years. His son Thanbir, 16, thinks it was because the management and customers treated him the same way he treated them: nicely and politely. Also, he was earning a salary that made his dream in life -- providing a college education for his three children -- a real option; his oldest daughter, 19, attends Brooklyn College. Fishing excursions to Gerritsen Creek and Sheepshead Bay were his favorite getaways: they reminded him of his boyhood. While he preferred to let his wife, Jeba, and his children clean whatever trout, catfish or bluefish he caught, he did lend a hand with the grilling. When Mr. Ahmed, 44, was not off fishing in his leisure hours, he was tending to the backyard vegetable garden in Marine Park, Brooklyn, a responsibility he traded with his brother on an annual basis. This summer it was his turn: chilies, squash, eggplant and tomatoes made up this year's crop, but not all of them flourished. It seems he was more vigilant pursuing fish than he was yanking weeds and spreading fertilizer.