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A Melrose Shopkeeper Loses All, But Maintains Empathy For Protesters

Nedjatollah "Ned" Harounian (R), has owned Palais Des Modes for more than 30 years. His son, Ebbi, has worked there since he was a teen. (Sabrina Fang/KPCC)
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On Saturday, May 30, Ebbi Harounian was watching TV coverage of looting and fires in the Fairfax District in the wake of protests over the killing of George Floyd. He saw firefighters trying to put out the flames at the shoe-and-leatherwear store his Iranian immigrant father had owned for more than 30 years.

Ebbi finally was able to reach him on the phone:

"Dad, what are you doing?"

"Ebbi, I'm here."

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"What are you doing there? Everything is on fire! Everything is engulfed on fire!"

"Where am I going to go? My whole life is burning down. I can't just go home and sit down."


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