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Oral History Interview with Shafaiat Ali, August 27, 2018

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.

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.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201