By Carol Tannenhauser
Sameh Bules returned on Monday to the spot on 86th Street near Central Park West where he has parked his food cart for four years. It was not a joyous homecoming, although many passersby shouted “Good morning!” and “Welcome back.” It was cold and windy and Sameh was in a lot of pain; he lifted his shirt to show wide bandages. He speaks very little English.
He was stabbed on Jan. 3 after a dispute with a teenager, apparently over a bag of chips. Afterwards, neighbors started a fundraising campaign for him, raising $15,511 as of Monday night.
Sameh was so grateful for the money the community raised, but still very worried and probably came back to work way too soon as a result. “My wife no work,” he said. “Two children. Why?” he kept repeating.”Why he try to kill me? For a 50-cent bag of chips? Why?”
He began to weep and so did I.
Great news that he’s back and on the mend, though I hope he doesn’t push himself too hard.
Is there any more news on the arrest of assailant?
His next court date is in March.
What injustice, that the animal who stabbed him is out on bail. I will go out of my way to stop by this man’s cart and buy some food as often as I can, I hope many others will do the same.
I know the link is in the post but just in case you missed it, donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/lost-wages-for-sammy-coffee-cart
Please don’t call this young person an animal. Nothing can justify his seriously dangerous behavior, but he is not an animal.
Anita is right.
the person who stabbed Sameh is reprehensible and should be punished.
But “animal” is a racial epithet commonly used in the outer boroughs and Long Island. It generally refers to Blacks, who are called “the animals.” I don’t know if it is as commonly used today, but it was very common in the 60s through 80s.
I think we can avoid racial epithets when disparaging criminal violence. that seems sensible.
People, regardless of race or gender, who commit horrific acts of violence such as this person who stabbed someone, are animals who do not belong in society. He is an animal who needs to be locked in a cage.
well, that’s a nice excuse, isn’t it, UWSHebrew? One uses a common racial epithet, and then one says, “look, it’s not a racial epithet, it refers to anyone who does such and such.”
Back before the n-word was basically banned, i used to hear the same excuse all the time. “A n****r just means an ignorant person. It could be an ignorant person of any race.”
Of course, when whites commit crimes, we don’t generally refer to them as “the animals.” Did you ever hear John Gotti and his crew called “the animals”? Or Bernie Madoff and his sons?
why don’t you simply use other, non-racialized, terminology to decry what this kid has done? Unless you are purposefully sending a signal with the racialized terminology.
by the way, your screen name is kind of insensitive to other Jews. Your endless rants have nothing to do with being Jewish. You can pick any screen name you want, but i find this one unfortunate.
I find your use of “the animals” and “animals” as insensitive because it IS racial-bias terminology, and that is well known to anyone who grew up in a NYC white ethnic neighborhood, or at least anyone who is honest about how the terminology is used. So you KNOW it is racial terminology, but instead of stopping using it, your answer is: “tough on you.”
of course, it’s no skin off your nose to STOP using this terminology. you are making a point by doing so. and you pretty much admit it.
as for using the screen-name UWSHebrew, as i said, that’s your right. it’s just sad that someone as angry and racially insensitive as yourself wants to imply to the world that this represents some sort of Jewish style of thought.
Bruce, the world does not revolve around your thoughts of what is proper language and what is not. I’m a Jew, like you, expressing my opinion, like you. You find it unfortunate I use UWSHebrew as my screen name because this is one Manhattan Jew who is not a liberal? Tough. You feel that my usage of “animal” is racist because you cling to terminology used decades ago? Tough. Go drown your baby-boom / hipper counter-culture sorrows in an Egg Cream.
UWSHebrew – so to be clear, do you not believe that people deserve to have a case tried in a court of law?
Because one can easily interpret from your posts here that you believe that someone should be convicted and punished based on the posting on a blog.
I shouldn’t expect you to back up your own claim.
Mark, if you have questions about Judaism, go ask a Rabbi.
So since the OJ verdict was wrong, you feel it’s appropriate to convict and sentence someone based on this blog post.
Because verdicts are sometimes wrong.
But you do believe in courts.
Just not in this case.
Clear as a bell now. Thanks.
of course I believe in a court of law, but sometimes justice is not achieved. OJ was free for many years after being wrongfully acquitted of murder. Not justice, but that is the court system.
“Appeal to God’s mercy reassures us that repentance is always possible and that God always awaits our return.”
Hmm, all that Hebrew school and I never learned that “In Judaism, you cannot commit as many crimes as you like, and be forgiven by a man.”
Can you show us a citation?
Nice try dannyboy, but that is between God and man. Nothing to do with us. In Judaism, you cannot commit as many crimes as you like, and be forgiven by a man. Only God forgives. Maybe you can quote Christian scripture, as I’ve seen all the movies where the priest after hearing someone confess their sins, tell them all is forgiven if they say “Hail Mary’s”. So stick to Christianity, as you failed at Judaism.
One difference between a civilized society and the alternative is the ability to dispense justice, not retribution. Part of that is to remember the humanity in everyone, even when the worst penalties are to be handed out. Calling someone an animal feels good for some in the moment, and for some feels powerful, and for some feels like the only way to express the depths of disgust they feel for the person’s actions. But in the end, in demeans us all. It comes as no surprise that recidivism, among other things, is lower in justice systems where criminals are treated as people who have done wrong and must be corrected or restrained, rather than as animals.
Anita – we have a large pitchfork and lantern crowd here who believe in vigilante justice.
Some of them consider themselves to be conservatives and will say that they love the USA and the Constitution but who actually have no idea what that means.
The kid might be an animal. Maybe not.
It takes a reasonable amount of intelligence and decency to learn the details before passing justice. Too many here take the easy, emotional way out and let their overwrought emotions drive them.
Correct, it’s an insult to animals.
Uh yes he is an animal. Put him in a cage for a long time.
Animal is a pretty good term, Anita. There are worse names. What would you call him? A saint?
Definitely not an animal. Animals are never so irrationally cruel.
Thank you for continuing to follow this story, WSR and Carol. A crime’s aftermath is as important as the initial shocking headline.
I would like to see him rest and heal some more. When doea he start to get that GoFundMe money?
Any minimal chance a hard working small business owner like Sameh has of having health care coverage will completely disappear shortly when Agent Orange and the Swamp Things in Washington eliminate Obamacare
Carlos, How DARE you call people “swamp things!” (j/k)
As an animal lover and a liberal I don’t see the justice in people let out to repeat violent crimes. It is not the victim’s fault that the “system” did not help the perpetrator.
People who are violent do act like rabid animals.
It is easy to feel sorry for anyone. It is lazy thinking and lazy doing to get mad at people who feel more strongly for the victim’s sake.
What are YOU doing to help rehabilitate violent people, besides looking for excuses? Research (ugh) shows that bullies often have a high self-esteem and/or sense of entitlement.
Victims often end up retreating for good, with their tails between their legs.
So sad. Perhaps we can help offset some of his bills, but it sounds like he has a lot of psychological healing that hopefully will happen.
I was thinking about that because I would too if I was attacked, but I have the $ to see a therapist
That last line is heartbreaking. Thanks for writing/posting.