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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Elena Locascio

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated access restrictions.  , April 2019

Container List

Oral History Interview with Shafaiat Ali, August 27, 2018

Biographical / Historical

Shafaiat Ali was born in 1948 in Trinidad and Tobago. He immigrated to the United States in 1968 and settled in Brooklyn. He married his wife, who also emigrated from Trinidad and Tobago, in 1971. They opened Ali's Trinidad Roti Shop in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn in the late 1970s. They have since expanded the restaurant, which was one of the first in Brooklyn to serve Caribbean halal food.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Shafaiat Ali discusses his family, his immigration to the United States, and his marriage to his wife. He speaks at length about his ownership of Ali's Trinidad Roti Shop in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, the restaurant's strong focus on Caribbean food, and community support for the restaurant. He also talks about changes in Bedford-Stuyvesant since he opened the shop in the 1970s, including the development of Fulton Street's commercial businesses and efforts by members of the nearby Masjid At-Taqwa to reduce crime in neighborhood in the late 1980s. Interview conducted by Zaheer Ali.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Names

  • Ali, Shafaiat

Subject Organizations

  • Ali's Trinidad Roti Shop (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)
  • Masjid At-Taqwa (Brooklyn, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • Community policing -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Cooking, Trinidadian
  • Family-owned business enterprises -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Food -- Religious aspects -- Islam
  • Halal food -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Restaurants -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Trinidadians -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • West Indian Americans -- New York (State) -- Kings County

Subject Places

  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)