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‘Not afraid’: Eatery owner’s calmness foils robbery in New Zealand

In an interview with a local television channel, the father of two said: ‘I knew that [gunman] he was not going to shoot me’

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An Egypt-born restaurant owner in New Zealand was shown on video continuing to serve his customers despite facing a horrific real-life scenario – a gun-wielding robber demanding all the cash in the counter.

Saad al-Jarjiri, who has been living in New Zealand for the past 20 years as a naturalized citizen, is a proud owner of Egyptian Kebab House in Christchurch - the largest city in New Zealand’s south island.

His calmness was seen in a viral video, recently released by the local police department. The footage, which dates to late May, was released to give an example of how one could face an armed robbery.

In an interview with the local TVNZ local television channel, the father of two said: “I knew that [gunman] he was not going to shoot me.”

Jarjiri, who stayed focused to serve his customers, did not seem to pay much notice to the fact that a gun was pointed at him.
A customer, who was spotted in the video, also appeared in a state of calm.

In an interview with the Arabic website of Al Arabiya News Channel, Jarjiri swore that he did not feel “afraid” when he saw the thief pulling the gun out of his bag, but he admitted that he felt a little tense.

“I believe that life does only end by a decision of God,” he said, adding that his lack of fear from the burglar and his escape from a tragic fate are his big victory.

The restaurant is well-known for serving kebabs, grilled chicken, and Kushari, a famous Egyptian street food.

Jarjiri, who worked as an engineer back in Egypt, hails from the Mediterranean city of Alexandra. He migrated to New Zealand with $3,000 cash in hand.

His perseverance does not stop at this incident.

Christchurch was hit and damaged by a severe earthquake in 2010 which forced most of its Arab-origin inhabitants to move to Australia. “Only 500 Arabs, mostly Lebanese, stayed in the city,” Jarjiri said.