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This Viral Photo Of Muslim & Jewish Families Protesting At O'Hare Is Getting Us Through

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Feb 1, 2017 6:26PM

We're looking for bright spots in the news wherever we can this week—especially images of unity in the face of seemingly hateful and divisive policy. The above photo, taken by a Chicago Tribune photographer on Monday night, that has since gone viral, perfectly encapsulates that: The photo, taken at O'Hare International Airport during a protest of the Trump administration's ban on immigration from seven predominantly-Muslim countries, shows a Muslim family protesting alongside a Jewish family, with two children sitting on their father's shoulders and holding protest signs.

The photo has since gone viral, in part thanks to sharing by high profile social media users like California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, and the photo making it to the front page of Reddit. The photo shows seven-year-old Meryem Yildirim sitting on the shoulders of her father, Fatih Yildirim, whose sign says "Empathy." They stand next to Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell and his nine-year-old son Adin, carrying signs that say "hate has no home here" and "We've seen this before. Never again. Jews against the ban."

The families told CNN they were talking about kosher and halal diets before photographer Nuccio DiNuzzo took the photo. Yildirim told CNN that he is from Turkey but has been living in the U.S. since 2002. He applied for citizenship last year, after hearing Trump first talk about a possible "Muslim ban." Bendat-Appell says he feels an "ethical imperative" to protest.

CNN reports that the two Chicago-area families plan to have Shabbat dinner together next Friday.