Edit ModuleShow Tags

Front Pages


Published:

(page 1 of 2)

Tolerance Spoken Here

No news has been the best news in Hillcrest since September 11. While 40 anti-Arab hate crimes in San Diego were under investigation in the month after the terrorist attacks, none was reported in Hillcrest. The community, say Arab- and Afghan-American business owners there, has been gloriously supportive.

“They’ve been great,” says Mounir Benchekroun, the manager at Arabian restaurant Aladdin. “They shook our hands; asked if we had any problems. I don’t want to say it’s been normal, but normal as it can be.”

Tolerance is a trademark of the community, says Bob Heider, organizer of Citizens Patrol, a large-scale neighborhood watch program in Hillcrest and North Park. The Hillcrest community embraced diversity in the 1960s, survived waves of hate crimes in the early ’90s and now takes the live-and-let-live tradition very seriously.

“Hillcrest is a unique community, a very diverse community,” Heider says. “People have a real strong identity living and working [here]. Since the attacks against the gay community we had in 1992, it’s been a natural thing to rally around and support everybody.”

So when Khyber Pass, an Afghan restaurant, received about 15 threatening calls the evening of the terrorist attacks, the community took an active role in making sure threats were as far as it went. Police in Hillcrest spent the next few days closely monitoring the restaurants. After that, Hillcrest community relations officer Rick Edgil began monitoring any possible outlets for vented anger, including the neighborhood’s Jewish centers. Since the initial threat calls, he says, “everything has been cool.

“The community as a whole has really been supporting them,” Edgil says. “We’ve taken on an accepting attitude for a long time. We are so tolerant, so laid back, it’s a safe place for anybody.”

Ehsan Akbar, manager at Khyber Pass—which Akbar says has been even busier than before the attacks—is one of those who feels safe now. “We were worried,” he says, “but people understand we’re not anything other than Americans now.”

—Sam Miller
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

San Diego Symphony Launches Sensory-Friendly Concerts

The new series is aimed at families with children on the autism spectrum

San Diego Happy Half Hour Podcast: Episode 31

Westfield UTC expands its food scene in a major way, a restaurant in Spain finds a novel way to feed the hungry, and the founder of Kitchens for Good stops by

24 Reasons to Love San Diego Right Now

We have extreme sailing, cross-cultural markets, maker space labs, plus 21 more reasons we’re so ridiculously happy to live here.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. 103 Dishes to Eat in San Diego before You Die
    Here's Made, our little black book of San Diego's best food
  2. San Diego Magazine's Travel Awards
    Cast your vote now for your favorite hotels, travel companies and attractions
  3. Why Restaurants Are Adding a Surcharge, and Why Diners Should Gladly Pay It
    Restaurateurs are finding ways to deal with the challenges of the minimum wage hike
  4. The Dog Lover's Guide to San Diego
    Here are 52 ways to experience San Diego with your four-legged friend
  5. 67 San Diego Holiday Traditions You Don't Want to Miss
    'Tis the season for fa-la-la fun in San Diego
  6. Meet the Founders of the New Officine Buona Forchetta
    Native Italians Matteo Cattaneo and Mario Cassineri talk recipes, family-friendly dining, and the virtues of good bread
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Go Ahead... Ask McMillin!

At McMillin Realty, we are encouraging you to bring us your real estate questions. We will answer these questions….. for free.

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Enter a Drawing You Could Actually Win

There are more than 1,700 prizes in the Dream House Raffle

Buy a Raffle Ticket, Win This Rare Sports Car

Donate to a good cause to seriously upgrade your ride
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags