Ali and Moustafa, alike yet different
The book that we are reading is Crossing the Boulevard by: Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan. It is a collection of stories that talk about the experiences of many immigrants that have come from many different places and now live in Queens. In this section of the book, we learn about the brothers, Mustafa and Ali. They both come from Egypt. They came to America for a better life. They are similar in some was and very different in others.
One part that really stood out to me was how the two brothers are similar in the way they think. They both know where they come from and make it evident in their restaurants. They are different because they do show it differently, but they seem to want to show where they are from, that they know where their roots are from and that why they wont forget them because it is with them in their restaurants everyday.
They are similar by bringing their heritage along with them. They do however express it in different ways. Ali is more focused on the food, his restaurant looks like any other, but his food speaks for him. He takes what he has learned from his mother and puts that into his cooking. He cooks Egyptian cuisine. He says “My mom when she cooked, she cooked more than enough food, just incase someone is going to stop by. She is our inspiration.” (Sloan and Lehrer 184). His food tells the story of where he has been and where he is from because he takes the knowledge that he has from Egypt and puts it into what he has now, like a mix of the past and now.
Then, Mustafa shows his story through his restaurant itself. He paints, creates mosaics, and so on. He uses what he can find and makes things different and unique. Combining everything making it one. This way, he incorporates where he was from, Egypt and adds bits and pieces of where he is now. He has Egyptian symbols and little bits and pieces of things he shows his heritage through.
They are similar yet different at the same time. The way they want to convey what they feel is different, but they have the same intentions. They want to bring their heritage along with them as they move on. They take what they learned and make it new, by incorporating what they have now to where they came from.