SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Noor Mediterranean Grill and its customers have been subject to harassment and death threats over the span of a week starting on Sunday, September 27, which also was the date Azerbaijan began its attacks on Artsakh.
Noor is an Armenian-own restaurant founded in 2014 in a suburb of Boston by Arsen Karageozian and his wife Hilda Darian Karageozian to offer Armenian and Middle Eastern food to the area. On Sunday evening, related Hilda Karageozian, there were a couple of people who came in and began to talk, supposedly on their phones. They spoke partly in their language, which was Azerbaijani, but they deliberately mixed in threatening phrases of English, saying things like “that’s an Armenian, kill them all,” so that they would be understood.
On Monday, September 28, they came in groups, and stayed in front of the store on the sidewalk, talking to both customers and the restaurant staff when either came in or out. The workers, who themselves were not of Armenian background, started to become afraid, Karageozian said.
That night, phone calls started to come to the restaurant ordering large quantities of food. They asked for five trays of beef kebab, or 5 trays of chicken kebab. Karageozian said it was clear from the accents that they were Azerbaijanis. As soon as the restaurant staff asked for 50 percent deposit, as is the usual procedure, the callers began to curse and hanged up.
Tuesday night, September 29, Karageozian said, threatening calls were received, saying “you f…ing Armenians, we are going to f… you up, we are going to kill you.”
Karageozian realized the situation was worsening and it was necessary to call the police. She did so on Monday or Tuesday. The Somerville Police Department told her to call directly if anything else happens. On Wednesday, she went in to file a formal police report concerning the telephoned death threats.