This Photo of Kids Protesting at an Airport Proves We Are All the Same

Meryem Yildirim with Adin Bendat-Appell at an airport during a protest
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

In a world that's often a horrid and unpleasant and terrifying place, we need to be the guiding light for our children -- letting them know kindness and compassion still exist. In the midst of Trump's executive order that bans immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries -- and left hundreds stranded and detained in airports -- a photo of these dads (one Jewish and one Muslim) protesting with their kids is making rounds, reiterating the timeless message that love and empathy can truly bring us all together.


Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell and Fatih Yildirim didn't know each other prior to the protests, but decided to bring their children (Jordan has a 9-year-old son named Adin, and Fatih has a 7-year-old daughter named Meryem) to the Chicago O'Hare International Airport on January 30 to lend their voices to the cause.

And the result is this magical photo that proves we can break down barriers and stereotypes when we join forces.

Meryem Yildirim, 7, left, sits on her father, Fatih, of Schaumburg, and Adin Bendat-Appell, 9, right, sits on his father, Rabbi Jordan Bendat-Appell, of Deerfield, during a protest
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images

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"What was wonderful was that it was a very human interaction -- not a Jew and Muslim, but two human beings (who look enough alike to be brothers!), standing up for what is right," Rabbi Jordan told the Huffington Post. He continued:

I hope that when people see this photo -- and I believe Fatih is with me on this -- that people see that we can come together, that we are all human beings and even children can understand that we have a simple choice to make as human beings: We can choose to be loving and kind even if we have reason to fear and mistrust. We are happy if this photograph can bring a bit more love and light into this world.

Amazing, right?!

What's even more touching about this story is that the dads exchanged numbers to keep in touch, and Rabbi Jordan invited Fatih and his family over for a Shabbat dinner, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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When I look at this, I see hope for the future -- hope that my sons can help eradicate discrimination, racism, xenophobia, and other injustice once and for all.

Though the image of Muslims and Jews standing in solidarity isn't anything new to me, this photo should reiterate that we all have more in common than we think -- and that no matter our different faiths (whatever that may be), we can and should all feel each other's pain.

'Cause when you care about your fellow man, you're willing to stand up and fight for them, which is a lesson we should all teach our children.

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