The owner of a downtown Egyptian food cart says he's been the subject of harassment from Portlanders who've confused him for the owner of a different Egyptian food cart, a man who was arrested for attacking a customer last week.
Gharib Muhammad, the operator of Elmasry Egyptian Food Cart, says he's bared the brunt of angry protests since last week's report that the proprietor of the Small Pharoah's cart called a black woman the n-word and attacked her with a Gatorade bottle and chili sauce after she tried to pay for a meal with mostly quarters.
Muhammad says that on Saturday, a group of 15 to 20 people accosted his wife, who was running the cart that night, with signs demanding the food cart shut down. The evening before, Muhammad says a man flipped him off and told him, "I remember what you did yesterday."
Elmasry is located two blocks northwest of Small Pharoah's, in an entirely different cart pod. The confusion likely stems from the name of Muhammad's cart: The man accused of the assault is named Islam El Masry. In Arabic, "El Masry" simply means "The Egyptian." It is also the name of an Egyptian soccer club.
Muhammad says he thought El Masry's actions were "completely wrong."
"Believe it or not," Muhammad says, "when I have customers come with change like that, I'm very happy."
Despite the fact that he had nothing to do with the attack, Muhammad has extended a mea culpa anyway: He's offered the victim, Carlotta Washington, a month of free food.
"I love my customers," Muhammad says. "I go extra for them."