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

How Agent Orange Is Still Devastating San Diegans

San Diego vets are still suffering from the toxic herbicide, and struggling to get benefits from the VA

North Park Local Stars in Discovery Channel Reality Show

A new survival show challenges contestants to master the wild

Garden Giveaway!

Armstrong Garden Centers is handing out five $50 gift cards and offering fun, free workshops
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. What's It Like to Be the CEO of the Smartest Company in the World?
    We went to Illumina’s headquarters to find out
  2. The 12 Most Important People in Design Right Now
    See what they’re up to and working on in San Diego
  3. Best of San Diego 2016
    Our annual and completely subjective guide to SD’s best
  4. The Chilling Facts About Craft Beer
    Why colder is not always better
  5. The Caesar Salad Turns 92
    Mexico’s world-famous salad celebrates 92 years of anchovy-garlicky goodness
  6. Top 10 Off-Site Events during Comic-Con 2016
    No badge, no problem—these happenings are free and open to the public
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

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.

“Will You Marry Me”?

Sharon Jenks, CEO of 6 Degrees, on building business relationships
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags