I think Leyla Al-Zubaydi might be one of the warmest and friendliest people in Lowell.
Al-Zubaydi, who owns Babylon, the Iraqi restaurant at 25 Merrimack Street, in Lowell, hasn’t had the easiest of years. On Jan. 4, around 3 a.m., someone threw a 20-pound rock through the plate glass window at the front of her restaurant.
She, and many other people in Lowell, feared this was a hate crime since the restaurant is clearly labelled in signage as Iraqi.
Photo by Tory Germann
Immediately after the incident, veterans and a local church organized to show support. Occupy Lowell did as well.
Today, the Student Government Association at UMass Lowell rented the restaurant for two hours to make a similar show of support. Among the students who turned out was Mike Hubbard, a 26-year-old freshman from Methuen who served with the 82nd Airborne in Iraq.
Lowell yet again made me really proud of where I live.
Lowell Police have identified a suspect. He is being summonsed to court, and will make his first court appearance in May. He is not being named in public prior to that, which is standard in cases in which people are summonsed.
Leyla said business has been good even when people aren’t holding eat-in events to show support. Many of those who came to the eat-in have been back, a good sign for any restaurant.
“We are doing much better,” Leyla told me. “It’s really amazing how bad things can convert to good things. It’s beautiful. It’s amazing.”