International children -- all living in NYC -- snapped by photographer

(CBS News) NEW YORK -- A Yemeni girl peers out over her neighborhood. A young Malaysian eats at her favorite restaurant. An Afghan boy cools himself on a hot summer day.

Danny Goldfield
Danny Goldfield
CBS News

Seven years ago, Danny Goldfield set out to take pictures of one kid from every country on earth.

"So far, I have photographed children from 169 countries, so I have 24 more to go," Goldfield says.

But what's interesting is that he didn't travel around the world to shoot the pictures. He shot everything in New York City.

"To do the project, I traveled the world with my MetroCard," he says.

The New York City subway card was his ticket to the city's diverse neighborhoods.

The idea was sparked on a cross-country trip when Goldfield met Rana Singh Sodhi at an Arizona gas station. Sodhi's brother had been murdered in a hate crime, gunned down in the days after the September 11 terror attacks.

"Instead of receding from the world, he did quite the opposite," Goldfield says. "He bravely said to me that he was going to go out into the world and meet his neighbors."

Goldfield was inspired to meet his own neighbors in a city of eight million where one in three is foreign born.

"The way I did it is fitting with Rana's prescription, which is -- I just started showing up at cultural organizations and churches and mosques and restaurants and hair braiding salons," he says.

Yelyi, Nicaragua
Yelyi of Nicaragua
NYChildren/Danny Goldfield Photography

His photographs are now on display at the JCC community center in Manhattan. One of the 169 faces is Yelyi Nordone, a Nicaraguan orphan who was adopted and brought to the U.S. at age seven.

She's now 16 and her picture is sandwiched between Mia from New Zealand and Sonia from Niger.

"Knowing that there are other kids that are from different places -- and they're actually living here -- makes me feel welcome," Yelyi says.

"Before I meet them, the most important thing is the country so I can scratch it off the list, but once I meet them, it becomes less important," says Goldfield. "Each one of these pictures, I hope, captures a specific moment that reveals the authentic spirit of who these children are."

Goldfield wants viewers to look past the skin color, the clothing or the set of beliefs that so often divide, because these photographs are not about differences at all.

Danny Goldfield has photographed children from 169 countries for the NYChildren project. He welcomes suggestions from any viewers if they can help him find New York City residents from the remaining countries, listed below:

Andorra | Benin | Central African Republic | Djibouti | Kiribati | Kuwait | Malawi | Maldives | Mauritius | Micronesia | Monaco | Mozambique | Nauru | North Korea | Palau | Papua New Guinea | Qatar | Samoa | Seychelles | Saudi Arabia | Solomon Islands | South Sudan | United Arab Emirates | Vanuatu

Danny Goldfield Photography