Photos from the Powerful Protests at JFK Airport

Photos from the Powerful Protests at JFK Airport

People gathered to support detained refugees and denounce Donald Trump.
January 29, 2017, 11:53pm

I went to New York's JFK Airport on Saturday not because I thought there would be photos to be made, but because I am an American, with a background that is only possible in America: My mother is from Mexico, my father is from Egypt, and I am a practicing Muslim. I was there, along with so many others, because Donald Trump signed an executive order that blocked refugees—and citizens from several Muslim-majority countries—from coming to the US. When something like that happens, you don't stay home.


When I arrived, I could hear the chants echoing off the parking garage. The protest extended from the entrance to Terminal 4's arrival area, where a dozen people were detained as a result of the ban.

I took this above photo of Mazeeda Uddin, founder of South Asian Fund for Education, Scholarship, and Training (SAFEST), an organization that provides educational support for the South Asian community, wearing a hijab, with an American flag in the background. I saw her standing with her sign and could not stop watching her chanting "FUCK TRUMP!" It was like seeing my own grandmother, full of passion, expressing herself unreservedly.

Whenever I watch interviews of Trump advisor Kellyanne Conway or Trump himself promoting the construction of a wall with Mexico or banning Muslims from traveling to the US, it makes me feel as if my community is not valued as much as others in America. A young man was carrying a sign that emotionally resonated with me. It said "NYC Jews Against Islamophobia," and it made me feel that other communities are coming together to protect my rights. I am very fortunate to have such a neighbor.

It's hard in normal circumstances to get someone to come all the way out to JFK to pick you up; Saturday night saw hundreds of people travel to the airport voluntarily. (There were more protests at airports around the country that night, and rallies at public spaces on Sunday.)


As the night went on, people ordered dozens of pizzas to be delivered to Terminal 4—a true New York moment.

VIew more of Mohamed Sadek's photos below.