By Ed Brock
Sadiq Momin is 8,500 miles from home, give or take a mile, and doing just fine.
Sitting in the Dairy Queen on North Main Street in Jonesboro that he owns with his wife Zohra, 48-year-old Momin, originally from a town near Bombay, India, is quick to make conversation about the 18 years he has spent in this country. His wife came first.
"She just wanted to be with her brother (who lives in America)," Momin said.
But Momin, who has a master's degree in organic chemistry and worked in the textile industry in his native India, already had America on his mind.
"I was interested in (America) because there was so much new stuff over here," Momin said. "I came to study but I couldn't afford to pay the college fees."
Momin's father back in India was unemployed and his mother was a teacher who also had to take care of both of his sisters. He didn't want to be a burden, Momin said.
That's when he started working for a Dairy Queen in Conyers where he stayed for six years
"I just stuck with it," Momin said.
Then in 1994 his wife and he bought the Jonesboro restaurant and they have established good reputation with residents, particularly employees at nearby Jonesboro City Hall.
"I've made it over to his establishment more than once. He cares about his business, he does a lot to keep it nice and to bring people in," Jonesboro City Manger Jon Walker said. "And he makes a mean Blizzard."
Jonesboro Occupational Tax Clerk Sharon Deaton said City Clerk Joanie Jones and she walk over to the Dairy Queen frequently.
"(Sadiq) always has a smile on his face," Deaton said. "As far as we're concerned he's an asset to the community. He's one of those businessmen you want to have in your community."
Momin said that his family, including his three children, mother and two sisters, have been American citizens since 1996. Dealing with immigration was no problem.
"Follow the rules, that's the main thing," Momin said. "They're doing their jobs, that's it."
He misses India and his friends who remain over there, but since his family has joined him in America he has only been back once seven years ago. His wife goes every other year or so, but the flight takes 24 hours, costs around $1,800 per person and takes him away from his business.
Instead Momin, an amateur photographer, has traveled to Canada, New York and Chicago.
"I want to see the whole of America," Momin said. "I want to go see the Grand Canyon the most."