Jackson Heights’ Muslim enclave in the New York City melting pot

Soon after Donald Trump announced his candidacy for president — and his plan for a ban on travel by Muslims to the United States — in 2015, award-winning photojournalist Yunghi Kim set out to explore the Jackson Heights neighborhood in Queens, N.Y.

Jackson Heights is one of many multinational neighborhoods in New York City. Hispanics account for most of its population, but there are also many Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, harmoniously woven into the fabric of this bustling community.

Kim says of her encounters:

“It was the immigrant community — Muslims in fact — that welcomed me.”

“I was unsure how the men would receive me (since I am a woman and was not dressed traditionally) but they were warm and reached out to me to tell me about their [prayer] service. Some women initially didn’t want their pictures taken, but others intervened and said it was OK. My sense was they saw the value in relaying an openness and sense of welcome. And in turn felt warmly included.

From Eid images of prayers to an immigrant tutoring school and daily life, Kim presents visual evidence that Muslim enclaves can and do exist peacefully in American society.

Photography © Yunghi Kim/Contact Press Images

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