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

Behind the Scenes Video: Making the June Issue

Our creative team visits San Diego's top restaurants to photograph all the dishes you should be eating now

Can Time Go Backwards?

Local prof goes Through the Wormhole

Mother’s Day 2015

Where to take Mom for brunch on May 10, plus spa specials and art/nature events
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Vote now: Best Restaurants 2015
    From best chefs to top tacos, you choose San Diego's best eats and drinks in 63 categories
  2. San Diego's Top 50 Trails
    From hiking the foothills to biking the beach, this is a city made for exploring outdoors. Here’s our latest, greatest checklist of trails we love—some in your own backyard
  3. I Tried It: The New Jazzercise
    When I hear the word “Jazzercise,” neon leotards, leg warmers, headbands, and old ladies come to mind
  4. Best Neighborhoods in San Diego
    Our annual neighborhood guide explores where to settle if you're a foodie, outdoors-lover, just starting out, or urban-obsessed
  5. The Best of North County 2015
    Our annual homage to the newest restaurants, shops, and activities keeping the region above I-56 the cool place it is—haute strip malls, million-dollar tract homes, and all!
  6. Win a 5-night Hawaiian vacation
    Win a 5-night stay for two at Halekulani
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.

La Jolla Music Society Events

The La Jolla Music Society's 2015 Calendar
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

Win a 5-night Hawaiian vacation

Win a 5-night stay for two at Halekulani

Everything is Just Two Wheels Away

Get ready to GO by BIKE!
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags