August 18, 2017: THE STREET CART VENDOR

Walid Abdelwahab is an immigrant who cooks and sells food from a street cart. He faces challenges every day, from long hours to local merchants who don’t want him there. But for him, it’s about chasing the American Dream.

TRANSCRIPT

GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO 'METROFOCUS.'

I'M RAFAEL P. ROMAN.

BREAKING NEWS OUT OF WASHINGTON TONIGHT.

WHITE HOUSE CHIEF STRATEGIST STEVE BANNON IS OUT.

THE WHITE HOUSE KWON FIRMED THE NEWS SAYING FRIDAY WOULD BE HIS LAST DAY.

AIDES SAID TRUMP DECIDED TO REMOVE BANNON, BUT A SOURCE CLOSE TO THE PAPER SAID THAT LEAVING WAS BANNON'S IDEA AND HE SUBMITTED HIS RESIGNATION TO THE PRESIDENT LAST WEEK.

THE MOVE WAS REPORTEDLY DELAYED BECAUSE OF THE RACIAL UNREST IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA AND THE GROWING CALLS FOR THE PRESIDENT TO FIRE BANNON.

WE'LL CONTINUE TO FOLLOW THIS DEVELOPING STORY.

BACK TO OUR CHASING THE DREAM SPECIAL.

TONIGHT OUR CHASING THE DREAM INITIATIVE TAKES US ACROSS THE BIG APPLE TO MEET FIVE EVERY DAY NEW YORKERS WITH FIVE DIFFERENT LIVES AND ONE COMMON GOAL, TO BEAT THE EVERY DAY HUSTLE.

WE WILL MEET A DOG WALKER WHO HAS FOUND A WAY TO MAKE PLAY TIME WITH FIDO MORE LUCRATIVE THAN SELLING INSURANCE.

THEN WE HIT THE OPEN ROAD WITH AN ON-DEMAND DRIVER WHO CAME TO AMERICA FOR THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE HER OWN HOURS.

FINALLY, WE WILL MEET THE SUBWAY PERFORMER WHO COMPETES WITH TRAINS TO BE HEARD.

JOIN US AS WE EXPLORE WHAT IT MEANS TO CHASE THE DREAM IN NEW YORK CITY.

♪♪

THANK YOU.

YOU'RE WELCOME.

I CAME HERE WHEN I WAS LIKE 20 YEARS OLD.

I'M FROM EGYPT.

I GOT MANY DREAMS.

AMERICA IS THE LAND OF MY OPPORTUNITY.

I FEEL LIKE I'M FREE.

WHATEVER I WANT TO DO IT, I DO IT ANY TIME I LIKE TO DO IT.

SO WHY NOT?

I LOVE IT.

MY NAME IS WAHLID AND I'M A STREET VENDOR.

I LIKE MY NEIGHBORHOOD, I LIKE MY CUSTOMERS THERE AND THE CUSTOMER LIKES ME.

THAT'S WHY I LIKE TO BE IN 79th STREET.

♪♪

I CAN'T CLOSE MY BUSINESS FOR A PLANTER.

IF I CLOSE MY BUSINESS, HOW CAN I FEED MY KIDS.

I HAVE A FAMILY AND THIS IS MY BUSINESS.

I'VE BEEN VENDING FOR MANY YEARS AND EVERYBODY KNOWS ME IN THE AREA.

THESE PLANTERS NEED A PERMIT FOR IT FROM THE CITY.

THEY DON'T HAVE ANY PERMITS, THEY JUST SIT THESE PLANTERS HERE TO PREVENT US FROM WORKING.

MY CUSTOMERS, I MOVE UP THE PLANTER AND I -- THANK YOU.

THANK YOU SO MUCH.

DISPLACED BY PLANTERS AND IT IS TYPICAL WHEN WE OR VENDORS TRY TO MOVE THEM THE POLICE WILL COME.

♪♪

I FEEL LIKE, FOR THE PEOPLE TO -- I FEEL LIKE I'M NOT ALONE.

AND I LOVE THE KITCHEN, THAT'S WHY I DECIDE THAT THE VENDOR.

THE PERFECT LIKE HOUR, HOUR AND A HALF TO SET UP ALL THE FOOD.

♪♪

I LIVE IN BROOKLYN.

I GOT MY FAMILY HERE, THREE KIDS AND WIFE.

SO I MAKE ENOUGH MONEY TO -- TO COVER MY -- LIKE MY RENT, MY BILLS.

I FEEL FREE BECAUSE I'M MY OWN BOSS, I DON'T HAVE NO BOSS ON IT.

THIS IS MY OWN AND NOBODY KNOWS WHAT I PUT ON IT.

SO YOU'RE NOT GOING TO FIND IT ANYWHERE ELSE.

I LOVE MY JOB BECAUSE I FEEL COMFORTABLE WHEN I STAY IN THE KITCHEN, AND MY DAY OFF AND I TELL MY WIFE, LISTEN, I'M GOING TO MAKE THE BREAKFAST FOR YOU GUYS.

SHE LOVE THAT, YOU KNOW.

I FEEL LIKE I WON THE GAME.

I GOT MY LIFE IN AMERICA.

Funders

MetroFocus is made possible by James and Merryl Tisch, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, the Sylvia A. and Simon B. Poyta Programming Endowment to Fight Anti-Semitism, Bernard and Irene Schwartz, Rosalind P. Walter, Barbara Hope Zuckerberg, Jody and John Arnhold, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Family, Janet Prindle Seidler, Judy and Josh Weston and the Dr. Robert C. and Tina Sohn Foundation.

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