Community helps Lawrence restaurant after vandalism - KCTV5

Community helps Lawrence restaurant after vandalism

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A sign has long sat in the window at the Aladdin Cafe on Massachusetts Street reads "No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor." (KCTV5) A sign has long sat in the window at the Aladdin Cafe on Massachusetts Street reads "No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor." (KCTV5)
LAWRENCE, KS (KCTV) -

If the owners of a certain Lawrence restaurant didn't know how loved they are before, they know it now.

The community came together to help the business recover after what some fear was a hate crime.

A sign has long sat in the window at the Aladdin Cafe on Massachusetts Street reads "No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor." Many worry that this is what sparked someone to vandalize the restaurant after closing time on Tuesday.

A steady stream of customers stopped by the Aladdin Cafe on Thursday to make sure that owner Mohammed Iskandrani knows how much he is loved in the community.

Sometime between closing time on the Fourth of July and the following morning, what appears to be a rock was thrown through the large picture window of the Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant.

"I was real sad and sorry to hear about that because Lawrence just isn't that kind of town," Dick Sengpiehl said.

"It's not typical of how people here think, not typical of how people here behave," John Hoopes said.

Obviously not, because once word got out, the Facebook messages and flowers poured in.

"We also got a fundraiser started from a customer who we've had here forever," Nesreen Iskandrani said.

That goal was to raise $1,000 to fix the window. In a matter of a few hours, they had tripled that. The window is fixed already, and as for that sign in the window, it's back and bigger than ever with a gift that came in from Kansas City.

"I really appreciated the message on the sign, so I wanted to help enlarge that message with the bigger sign," Abby Dimalanta said.

No one has yet been charged with the crime, but the Aladdin Cafe is open and more appreciative of their customers than ever.

The restaurant even served lunch for free to say, 'Thank you.'

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