More than a thousand Yemeni-owned grocery and convenience stores in New York City closed their doors at noon on Thursday in protest at Donald Trump’s temporary ban on immigration from Yemen and six other Muslim-majority nations.
“We have a strong community here in downtown Brooklyn so we have to close and just show the people that we can change anything,” said Abdul Kareem, who owns the Cobble Hill Deli in Brooklyn. Kareem has owned the store for 12 years and has been living and working in the US for more than 24 years.
“This shutdown of grocery stores and bodegas will be 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,” the strike organizers said in a statement.
Kareem’s wife and four children are just a few of the hundreds of Yemeni nationals and US visa holders who were stranded in the small African nation of Djibouti due to Trump’s controversial executive order.
“They should have had a visa last week and now they are denied,” Kareem said. “So now we have to wait at least 90 days, then we will see what’s…