These new Minnesotans — immigrants from China, Iraq and Egypt — try to stick together. But sometimes they feel very alone.

The three own businesses at the corner of Lowry and Emerson in north Minneapolis.

It should be lovely urban corner. So often, it is a nightmare.

Go back a few days to view a scene that shows the worst and the best of our city. It’s all on a digital recording from the security cameras in and around the little corner grocery, E & L, owned by Adil Al Bosaad, an Iraqi immigrant who has run the store since 1998.

Because it’s a high-crime area, the city requires the store to have security cameras.

“We put in two cameras, but then the city ordered us to have digital,” said Bosaad, holding up the bill for $5,000 that he had to pay for the new system.

Whether he can afford it or not, Bosaad now has a crackerjack digital imaging system. And this is what it shows from 6:25 p.m. on May 14:

A man comes running out of the chow mein restaurant, run by a Chinese woman who is afraid to tell me her name. Her restaurant is two doors from Bosaad’s store.

The man is carrying the drawer from the restaurant’s cash register and is running westerly, past Maxwell’s Corner Deli, which is located between the chow mein restaurant and the corner grocery. The deli is run by an Egyptian immigrant, Adel Hamid.

The robber runs past several young men from the neighborhood, who do nothing to stop his flight.

“But now look at this,” says Bosaad, pointing to the recorded images. “Watch this man.”

It is the Egyptian, Hamid. He steps out of his business and starts chasing the robber, who, obviously frightened, drops the cash drawer at the Emerson-Lowry intersection and runs across Emerson.

Hamid stays in pursuit, finally catching the punk out of camera range.

Why would Hamid chase after a man who could have been armed?

“I am a Muslim,” said Hamid. “That is what I should do. You help your neighbor.”


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