What would a day without a Yemeni look like? That's what New York will find out when 1,000 Yemini grocery stores close their doors on Thursday in protest of President Trump's travel ban on immigrants from seven Muslim majority countries.
From noon until 8 p.m., Yemeni-owned and run bodegas and groceries across the five boroughs will demonstrate "a public show of the vital role these grocers and their families play in New York’s economic and social fabric and, during this period, grocery store owners will spend time with their families and loved ones to support each other; many of these families have been directly affected by the ban," according to organizers.
“Originally, we considered starting the shutdown at 8 a.m., but the grocers made it clear they wouldn’t be willing to close if that meant their regulars wouldn’t get their morning coffee,” Debbie Almontaser, board member of the Muslim Community Network and one of the rally organizers, said.
“Even when their lives have been turned upside down, they refused to disrupt the lives of the very people they serve daily.”
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On 5:15 p.m. at Brooklyn Borough Hall, 209 Joralemon St., the Yemeni American community will hold a rally beginning with the Muslim call to prayer and a public sundown prayer.
After the prayer, Yemeni merchants and their families will share their personal stories and read the stories of friends who are afraid to come forward.