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Diamond Head food truck owner claims harassment by neighborhood residents

<i>KITV</i><br/>Hawaii food truck owner Ala Thabata
Hawaii food truck owner Ala Thabata

By Kristen Consillio

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    HAWAII (KITV) — Ala Thabata’s run a Mediterranean food truck for four months now across from Waikiki Elementary School.

He said he’s been constantly harassed by residents who don’t want him in the neighborhood.

“There’s two people they blow their horn every night and they give my son anxiety. Like beep everyday,” he said.

Some neighborhood residents say it’s an eyesore, but for the owner of Ala’s Kitchen, it’s a matter of survival.

Thabata said he’s being evicted from his Kapahulu home by the end of the month. And in desperation, he’s building a shed on the top of his food truck for him and his 25-year-old son who has brain cancer.

“We are not numbers, we are humans,” he said. “Everybody has a story. Just have some empathy.”

But some residents said the truck on Leahi Avenue is causing problems.

“It causes traffic problems and that does bother me,” said Roy Charron, who lives in Pualei Circle. “I don’t think it’s a good idea to let people live and run businesses in a parking area.”

Thabata said he’s just trying to make it in paradise after fleeing from the conflict in Israel years ago. He said he rents a parking space on the privately-owned road and complies with business regulations. He also feeds the homeless and cleans up the park.

“I thought this is my truck. I have the right to do whatever I want in my spot,” Thabata said. “I feel like this is my … first step to life so please don’t destroy me guys — Diamond Head people. I mean I love my customers, but I don’t know the rest of them. I really have a lot of haters.”

The city hasn’t responded to inquiries about the legality of the truck. But Thabata said the makeshift home is just temporary, until he can get back on his feet.

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