Cultural Artwork

Country House Diner, owned by a man named Hakeem since 1962, has kept its doors open to the residents of Clinton Hill each and every day. However, amidst rising rents and changing demographics, keeping these doors open has proved to be rather difficult. One major bump in the road was where a local organization, called the Clinton Hill Society, whom Hakeem affectionately calls "the Clan," vowed to help Hakeem reconnect to the newest residents of Clinton Hill. They deemed that Hakeem must serve alcohol to be successful, which Hakeem vehemently refused to do, since it is against his Muslim beliefs. Hakeem, faced with the decision of whether or not to serve alcohol, had to decide to either bend to the new residents, or keep his culture and beliefs intact. After a tense final meeting with the CHS, Hakeem chose to uphold his beliefs, and not serve alcohol. This mural, with Arabic characters, shows that even in times of strife and hardship, holding on to one's culture engrained in oneself is more important than any profit margin.

Year: 2015

– Nicholas Vulpis

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