PHOTOS: Yemenis close 1,000 NYC shops in protest of Trump travel ban

People participate in a Yemeni protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, Feb. 2, 2017.

Hundreds of ethnic Yemeni business owners who operate New York City corner bodegas and neighborhood delis closed shop Thursday in protest of President Donald Trump's travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

The shops were locked at noon and were to remain shuttered until 8 p.m., according to organizers of a late afternoon rally in downtown Brooklyn. At least 1,000 Yemeni-run small businesses are a part of many New Yorkers' daily lives, said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, who planned to attend the rally.

Haron Zokari closed his Manhattan deli at noon, as well. He said his wife and baby are stuck in Yemen after almost completing a four-year, green-card process.

A man waves a Yemeni flag as he and other members of the Yemeni community were joined by a huge crowd of supporters during a protest on the steps of Brooklyn's Borough Hall as they express their opposition to President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. ap

A man waves a Yemeni flag as he and other members of the Yemeni community were joined by a huge crowd of supporters during a protest on the steps of Brooklyn's Borough Hall as they express their opposition to President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. ap

“We are trying to stay strong,” he said. “There's people there who are refugees and who are starving and running for their lives, so thank God we don't have it as bad as they do.”

Trump's executive order barred people from Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Syria from entering the US for 90 days. Under the order, travelers have been detained, sent back from the United States or stranded in other countries.

Zaid Nagi, who owns three delis in the Bronx, said the ban disrupted plans to bring his mother to the United States, where he has lived for more than 20 years. The 36-year-old married father of four said the point of the protest was to say, “We are part of this community. We are not who this order is trying to say we are.”

Zamood Zokari, left, and Ali Elazab, right, post a sign on a window of Zokari' family deli in lower Manhattan, alerting customers that the store will close because of a protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in New York. ap

Zamood Zokari, left, and Ali Elazab, right, post a sign on a window of Zokari' family deli in lower Manhattan, alerting customers that the store will close because of a protest against President Donald Trump's travel ban, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in New York. ap

He said most of his customers had expressed solidarity with the shutdown.

“They know who we are. They know we are human beings just like them,” he said. “I believe in the good people of America.”

As night fell, a raucous but orderly crowd of at least 1,000 people including many of the shopkeepers filled a plaza in Brooklyn to protest the travel ban.

Many waved the flag of Yemen. Their cheers echoed between tall buildings to the federal courthouse a few blocks away where lawyers for the government and civil liberties groups appeared earlier before a judge hearing a legal challenge to Trump's travel restrictions.

Muslims, members of the Yemeni community and others wave American and Yemeni flags as they gather on the steps of Brooklyn's Borough Hall to protest President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in New York. (AP)

Muslims, members of the Yemeni community and others wave American and Yemeni flags as they gather on the steps of Brooklyn's Borough Hall to protest President Donald Trump's temporary travel ban on citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in New York. (AP)

Muslims and Yemenis gather with their supporters on the steps of Brooklyn's Borough Hall, during a protest against President Donald Trump's temporary ban on Muslims from certain countries entering the United States, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP)

Muslims and Yemenis gather with their supporters on the steps of Brooklyn's Borough Hall, during a protest against President Donald Trump's temporary ban on Muslims from certain countries entering the United States, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP)

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:50 - GMT 06:50
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