WHITE PLAINS, NY — Hundreds of protestors gathered on a lawn outside Pace University’s Elizabeth Haub School of Law on Saturday, Feb. 4. The temperature was in the 30s; so most of them stood in the area warmed by the midday sun.
New York State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, a Democrat, hosted the event, which was called the Westchester Resistance Rally. The rally was in response to recent executive orders from President Donald Trump, including an order suspending travel from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and the admission of Syrian refugees indefinitely. He also ordered multiple border security measures, including the construction of a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.
The event at the law school, which houses an Immigration Justice Clinic, resembled other protests held nationwide since Trump was elected last November. There were chants and signs as well as speeches from federal, state, county and local officials — all Democrats. There were even a few Trump supporters who stood outside a fence along the perimeter of the property.
Half an hour into the event, which started at noon, 40-year-old Sagir Ahmed of Yonkers — a Muslim, a chauffer, and a father of three — knelt on the ground, in the shade, and prayed, as pictured above. Twenty-five years ago, he emigrated from Bangladesh to the U.S.
Sixty two-year-old Jim Metzger of Hastings-on-Hudson — a Jew, an architect, a photographer, and a lifelong New Yorker — approached Ahmed afterward with his arms spread wide. Ahmed reciprocated. During their hug, the two strangers exchanged two words. Ahmed whispered “Salam.” Metzger responded with “Shalom.”
Tim Lamorte is an award-winning journalist who has spent almost two decades documenting life along the Hudson River.