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Life changed fast for Saif Ataya after the jetliners hijacked by terrorists slammed into the Pentagon and World Trade Center towers four months ago today.
First came the name-calling and death threats. Then the hateful graffiti and vandalism at his small San Francisco store. The breaking point, however, was when his 5-year-old daughter was called a terrorist on her
schoolyard. "I was devastated," said Ataya, an Arab American who runs a corner grocery store in the city's quiet Eureka Valley neighborhood.
Ataya's post-Sept. 11 experience is part of a disturbing trend.
According to figures recited yesterday during a hearing at San Francisco City Hall, the number of hate crimes and cases of discrimination and harassment against Arab Americans and Muslims has soared nationwide since