Pizza Angels Feed Protesters At JFK Airport
Pies started appearing at the airport hours into the protest against Trump's immigration ban.
Protestors at JFK airport got an unexpected treat tonight: Pies and pies of pizza that seemed to apparate out of thin air.
"Somebody handed it to me," one woman handing out slices told The Daily Beast.
"The delivery guy wanted a photo," said another.
"It just appeared," said a third.
Behind barricades and police in riot gear, protesters took it upon themselves to feed their comrades. At 10pm, there were more pizza boxes than signs littering the floor.
But no one could pinpoint their origin. When one of these reporters called South Shore Pizza—the parlor from where many of the boxes seemed to originate—a man who answered the phone said bluntly: "We're closed."
He added they hadn't just spontaneously delivered the pizzas, either. Someone had placed an order to be delivered to JFK.
Then one of these reporters spotted a young woman in a pink flower hijab. She held three boxes of pizza out in front of her.
And she knew just where they came from.
Fatimah, 18, had woken up with a fever on Saturday morning. She cancelled all her plans and decided to stay home to recover.
And then she saw the protests against Donald Trump's immigration ban, which targeted refugees and holders of visas and green cards from seven Muslim-majority countries. (The ban was stayed in part on Saturday night.)
She roused her dad, Kariam, and her younger sister Zainab. They decided to order 30 pizzas for the people defending Muslims at JFK, loaded their car with some Qur’ans to hand out, and headed on over.
“We said, hey, we should come out here, and everyone here is going to need some food,” Fatimah said.
By the time she hit the sidewalk with the slices, Fatimah’s sickness had faded. The 18-year-old Hofstra sophomore was all smiles.
“They can’t say anything to me, I’m just a girl with a flower scarf,” she said. “I’m Muslim, but I’m just as much an American as any.”
Her father, Kariam still sounded a bit hoarse—but didn’t regret being out on the streets in the least.
"It is incumbent on us, it is our duty as Muslims," he said. "We are very grateful to all the people for being out here.
The family brought Qur’ans from the Islamic Center of Long Island in Valley Stream. And on the way, they reached out to friends at other nearby Islamic Centers. The others ordered more pizzas—between 60 and 90 extra pies, they estimated.
Kariam asked that the family’s last name not be used because they got hate mail after appearing in other news reports. Fatimah, for instance, said she got negative messages after advocating for Eid to be a holiday in Long Island public schools.
"I've received hate mail and I'm only 12," Zainab chimed in. "Some kid in my school put a terrorist sign on my back."
The family follows politics but doesn’t protest much. Saturday was Zainab’s first time at a protest, while Fatimah had only come across a few in her time in college. The family supported Bernie Sanders, then Hillary Clinton; Kariam’s first protest, he said, was when Trump came to Long Island.
"I'm not really a protest guy," he said. "But unfortunately the situation has made me a protest kind of guy."