Moustafa's and Ali's Point of Views
The book, Crossing the Boulevard, tells the stories of immigrants who came all the way from a wide variety of countries to Queens. Queens is one of the most ethically diverse places in America where people from all places bring their share of culture and stories of how they got here and what life was like adjusting to a whole new world. The authors, Warren Lehrer and Judith Sloan, interviewed people from all sorts of backgrounds and put them together to create Crossing the Boulevard. Two of the people they included in their book are Ali and Moustafa, brothers that come from Egypt who opened up Kebab Café and Mombar (a restaurant) on Steinway Street.
When reading the brothers’ stories, I noticed that they talked about diversity. This topic is important because the United States is a very diverse country, filled with people from all over the world. However, some people don’t like the idea of diversity and begin to have no tolerance for those who are from different places or have different beliefs. It isn’t fair just to hate a person just because they are a certain race or believe in a certain religion. We all should learn how to accept others no matter where they are from, or whether we don’t agree with them on certain aspects. Tolerance can lead to peace, while not being tolerant can lead to hatred, racism, and even
Both Ali and Moustafa believe that we should be tolerant when it comes to accepting different ideas. When Ali described Astoria, he stated, “Like Picasso was Spanish and Braque was French and Gertrude Stein was American, but they met in the cafes in Paris . It was a place to exchange ideas. Astoria is becoming a place like that,” (Ali 187). In this quote he discusses how Astoria is similar to Paris because of the way that people from all over the place are able to peacefully come together and share their thoughts and ideas. This an example of not caring where a person is from and being accepting of their ideas. Astoria was becoming a tolerant place in Ali’s opinion. Moustafa also shares his thoughts on tolerance when he says, “Outside I put the Greek columns and the Islamic window with a lotus flower and the pyramid from the Pharoah’s time, and the eye of Horus and the eye of the dragon,” (Moustafa 187). This quote shows how Moustafa was fine with using certain aspects from other cultures in order to design his restaurant. By taking elements from other places and combining them to make one style, he shows how there can be tolerance when it comes to design and art.
I also agree with Ali and Moustafa because not being tolerant can be very disastrous. In the past, people have fought wars and had to put up with racism because they were different. Even today, racism still occurs, which I believe isn’t right. I have friends who are of different nationalities and religions than me, yet I’m still able to get along with them. Being mocked at just because you’re different from everyone else can be hurtful, and in order to avoid people from being emotionally hurt like that, we all have to accept the idea of tolerance.