After The Muslim Ban, This Woman Led New York’s Bodega Strike | AJ+

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The day of the Muslim ban, there were so many emotions that I was feeling. [News Clip]: “President
Trump is defending ” “a temporary travel ban for seven” “Muslim majority countries.” I thought about my family, who’s had seven Marines that served in Iraq and Afghanistan, the New York Police Department; how this was a betrayal to their service to this nation. A Muslim ban that basically said, “You are not welcome here
because you are Yemeni.” I consider myself one of those people who’s been put on the face of the earth to be a change agent. “No hate no fear.” “Our country was built on
the backs of immigrants.” The day of the Muslim ban, I organized an emergency meeting with the Yemeni-American community. They were so outraged. When Yemeni-Americans
migrated to New York, they landed at Brooklyn Borough Hall. Many of them then went
off to open up stores which are now called “bodegas”. There are between four
to six thousand bodegas across New York City
owned by Yemeni-Americans. They never, ever were interested
in challenging government, but the Muslim ban woke them up. They felt that they
needed to take a stand. And so, Zaid, a fellow
Yemeni-American, said, “Why don’t we do a strike?” “Close about two hundred stores.” I said, “Okay so when do
you guys want to do this?” And he said, “Thursday.” I was like, “What?” We had four days. (upbeat music) My media head starts thinking
about this and I’m like, “If you really want to
send a strong message,” “you close a thousand
stores and we hold a rally.” I called up the Borough
President, Eric Adams. “Eric, I need your help.” “It has to be Brooklyn Borough Hall.” He’s like, “Okay, that’s
cutting it really close.” And I was like, “What’s going on that day? They’re like, “We have the Chinese New Year
event happening that night.” I called back Zaid and he said, “Brooklyn Borough Hall?” And I was like, “Yes” and he was like, “Wow, that’s really big.” We made over a thousand posters and we distributed to the stores and the store owners
pasted it on their windows: “We’re closing from 12:00 to 8:00 pm.” They were literally delivering posters as late as Thursday 3:00 am. We were talking about who was going to MC, and they’re like, “You’re gonna MC.” “What do you mean, ‘who’s gonna MC’?” “You’re MCing this.” I was like, “Oh, my God.” The day of the rally, it is
freezing cold in the plaza. At 12 o’clock, the stores shut down. – [News Clip] “Yemeni owners of bodegas” “across the city closing
up shop at 12 noon.” There were two bodegas, they never close their doors, never. When they went to lock the doors, the lock fell apart. 12:30, I get a call: “Debbie, what time did
you tell people to come?” – And I said, “4:30.” He’s like, “Debbie, we
have fifty people outside.” The numbers just kept growing. At 1:30, Stefan calls me again, “There are five hundred people outside!” “People are hanging off
the fringe of the flags.” (crowd yelling) I finally make my way there at 3:00 O’clock. And all I see is a sea of people, I was like, “Oh, my God,
how did this happen?” “Did we really do this?” Close to six thousand people. Young, old, American
flags swinging everywhere. This is (in Arabic) Borough Hall. Borough Hall for the Yemenis! [Debbie]: “You should
be absolutely proud!” We were covered by the ‘New York Times’, by ‘Slate’, ‘LA Times’. Every media outlet covered us. [Crowd]: “This is what
democracy looks like!” My eyes swelled with tears and I felt so much pride to see my community actually
take a political stand. [Debbie]: “You are powerful!” We took that energy and
formed the Yemeni-American Merchants Association to
make sure they have a voice and a place at the table. And to say, “This sleeping
giant is no longer sleeping.”

100 comments

  1. CRAPPP. those Muslims are lying to you. smiling, weaving. i want to see if you can think of stepping inside their Mosques, inside their schools, even in some neighbourhoods you not allowed to walk.
    this is an UGLY face of Islam

  2. I don't get it, I met many Iraqis people, they are nice and humble people. When US start to attack them cause they have the nuclear weapons, suddenly they never found them and they said "sorry". How come they banned to come to your country after you destroyed them? Such in justice

  3. I’m Yemeni I was born in Saudi Arabia but it feels like there is no place for me and my family I can’t feel like I belong anywhere, it breaks my heart that the country I live in my whole life and where my parents also born is not for us! And the country of my grandparents is destroyed and I don’t know anything about it. I feel lost somehow. I’m married to a Saudi man and my baby is Saudi too but I can’t feel I belong I wish if they would treat us better

  4. This woman is really good but I was wondering, why only Yemen? There were other countries as well. I personally love Yemenis and think they are lovely but maybe if she focused on all of the countries that are banned then it would’ve been better.

    Btw I’am from one of those countries that got banned so don’t think I’m being racist.

  5. There is more than 20 arab country ,if Donald Trump is saying that arabs are terrorsit and this was true ,americans wouldn t be alive because of the mass terrorists attack ,and remember muslims are the biggest religion

  6. I met a so called moderate muslim in a free country. Very nice person, but after I tried to criticize their prophet, their personality change.

  7. This is so distressing, and I'm not even muslim or in America. I cannot imagine being so unwelcomed in the country I call my home. :'(( I pray Trump will reconsider his ban. This is so unjust.

  8. The level of hate in these comments is saddening… We are all different yes, with different beliefs, different culture, different skin colors and different upbringings, but in the end we are all still human. Yes maybe there are things you disagree with Islam, but that doesn't make all muslims bad people. Same goes with Muslim people hating on white people. Clearly not all white people hate muslims or support the ban. I'm not asking you to change your beliefs, just your attitude to other humans. Stop generalising, start tolerating

  9. But if Islam is such an amazing religion and so peaceful, why do so many come to Western countries that are majority Christian? Oooooooh yeah, selective benefits!

  10. Not a ban on muslims lol. A moratorium (temporary) in order for our country to readjust. If you were hindu, christian, buddhist, etc. but living in one of the banned countries then you would also be temporarily restricted from traveling. Indonesia is one of the biggest muslim countries in the world, but were they temporarily restricted from flying? no. Not a ban against muslims.

  11. Unfortunately, Trump doesn’t understand the magnitude of such gatherings. He would probably say more disparaging things about them. Trump the racist hate baiter.

  12. I am not an muslim but its shameful what Trump (US goverment) did , I only didnt like that she was saying only Yemen cuz there are 6 other countries but ok … Hope that the article gets removed

  13. After watching this I just fall in love with america ,I m Muslim thnk u for ur support
    Yessssss…..Love is All
    I agree…..

  14. If there truly is a "Muslim ban", why are there only 5 out of the 50 Muslim majority countries in the world on the travel ban list?

  15. AJ+ is Al Jazeera TV. Keep that in mind while you are watching this. Sort of makes a person wonder why they would be trying so hard to conceal their true identity.

  16. Welcome to America, the land of the not so free! Our government has always been racist, but now we have a president that acts on racist views and he gets away with it most of the time. No other president before him as ever gotten away with so much foolishness uncheck, notice how the Muslim countries he does business with were not on the ban. This man even said he didn't want immigrants from sh*t hole countries, like Haiti and Nigeria. I'm glad all Yemen store owners came to the rally, I was happy to see such a beautiful turn out. Something that was not really shared in the press, was the fact the Muhammad Ali's ex-wife and son, were stopped twice and detained at the airport. At one point, they were trying to deny them access into the U.S. and they are both American citizens born and raised. This is something to always keep in mind, that it wasn't just the Muslim countries on the ban, but a war against Islam itself. Anyone of any race can be Muslim. I was born and raised as a Christian and even I see what is going on.

  17. Most of these people who come in this country are trying to escape the wars and live peaceful lives in America so you can’t just judge someone by there religion or country just because of a bad choice by a couple of people who have that same religion or come from the same country

  18. If you liked this video, we highly recommend you check out Mustafa Ali's story on how became a WWE wrestling star after ditching his stereotypical Arab costume —> https://youtu.be/yBiRcr0xQ1E

  19. It’s sad like she said, many Muslims served this country and are in the armed forces or doing government job. This was just a betrayal to their service to this country, that they grew up in and love.

  20. முஸ்லிம் சமுகம்
    இந்த உலகத்தை பிடித்த சாபக்கேடு. முஸ்லீம் சிரிய அகதிகளை மிக அருகில் இருக்கும் சவூதி. ஜோர்டான் ,குவைத் ஆகிய முஸ்லிம் நாடுகளே ஏற்றுக் கொள்ள மறுக்கின்றன. இந்த நிலையில் ஐரோப்பிய நாடுகள் கருணையுடன் அகதிகளை ஏற்றுக்கொண்டால் முஸ்லீம்கள் அந்த நாடுகளிலும் வெடி குண்டு வைப்பது மத மாற்றம் செய்வது போன்ற வேலைகளில் ஈடுபட்டு பிரஜ்னை செய்கின்றன. ஆனால் முஸ்லிம் நாடுகள் ஏனைய மதத்தவரை அவர்களது நாடுகளில் மதிப்பது இல்லை. மத மாற்றத்திற்கு அனுமதிப்பதில்லை. இவர்களுக்கு ஒரு நியாயம் மற்ற மதத்தினருக்கு ஒரு நியாயம்.இது சரியல்ல

  21. There is a very popular video among conspiracy theorists of retired ex-General Wesley Clark talking about America invading seven Middle Eastern countries over a period of five years.

    He is quoted with saying “We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran”.

  22. Only Dictatorships do this………The free world has become a prison cell to Arabs and Muslims (I'm a Muslim too but not Arab)

  23. There never was a fuckign Muslim ban.

    it's straight up disgusting to still keep warping things like this for political points.

  24. There was NEVER A MUSLIM BAN!
    If you are from one of SEVEN countries with known ties to ISLAMIC TERRORISM, you MUST BE VETTED…PERIOD!!!
    Stop the LIES.

  25. "this sleeping giant is no longer sleeping" meanwhile most Yemenis in Khaleej are still asleep💔 الله يصلح أحوالنا

  26. This is just really stupid , trump just wants people to cross legally not ilegally and that's why he banned it.
    And look at this muslim lady being so proud of being on the media and getting the attention she wanted.How irony.

  27. Trump is an idiot, but there was never a Muslim ban. That’s like saying if you banned people from Estonia and Portugal (and letting in France, Germany, Spain and Italy) and calling it a European ban.

  28. 'This sleeping GIANT is no longer sleeping' now that's really a threat to Americans by the ISLAMIC intruders.

  29. Wow that is amazing I’m proud of you my people why to go ❤️🌹☝️🏼👊🏼👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  30. Then they say America wants peace 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️😪 , i got no more words to say

    Much love for all arab and muslim countries from Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦❤️❤️

  31. May Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala grant you sister Debbie more of His fortunes and blessings and may He grant us more !!!

  32. Im not muslim nor am i arab im actually roman catholic but this brought tears to my eyes. Thanks for posting.

  33. There is no problem banning people from specific countries. Note it wasn't a Muslim Ban. It was a TRAVEL ban from countries where Terrorism is a major problem and instability made it impossible for the US to confirm identities of travelers.

  34. So happy Im muslim now! ☺
    Please Click on the link below;
    =What made me Accept Islam?=
    SUBSCRIBE & LIKE
    https://youtu.be/hAeym7lmBIM

  35. Can anyone show me only one verse from the Quran that explains what "Islam" and "Muslim" is? I do not want your thoughts I just want what Allah said in the Quran simply "What Islam means". Peace

  36. 60% US moslem belive that US should accept sharia law. Wow, will US change US constitution….? Beware, you have enemy every where.

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