NY Lounge Named "Isis" Worries Owner - NBC4 Washington
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NY Lounge Named "Isis" Worries Owner

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    Owner of "ISIS Hookah" Lounge Won't Change Name

    What's in a name? Everything, if your businesses is called the ISIS Hookah Lounge. Michael George reports. (Published Monday, Sept. 29, 2014)

    What's in a name? Everything, if your business is called the Isis Hookah Lounge. 

    Michil Gadalla's business in Astoria is named after the Egyptian goddess Isis. There are pictures and statues of her all over the place inside, but with the terror group ISIS making headlines for new atrocities daily, Gadalla is worried that people will see the name and assume he supports ISIS. 

    His customers are worried, too. 

    "I mentioned this to the owner a couple weeks ago, about thinking to change at least one letter of the name, just because a lot of people may misunderstand," said Hani Salib. 

    Gadalla said in Arabic he's thought about changing the name of his business, but it would be too costly. He also doesn't want to have to bend to a terror group he calls "uneducated."

    "They made the religion itself look bad," he said through a translator. 

    "I'm a free man, I didn't do anything wrong." 

    Gadalla's Egyptian customers understand what he's going through because Isis -- pronounced "ezeeze"-- is a very common Egyptian name. Customer Hani Salib said his own mother's name is Isis. 

    Gadalla said he hasn't had any complaints, but he's seeing more people show up to take pictures of his sign. He only wants the public to not judge him and his lounge by the name.