My great aunt and uncle immigrated to the United States in the ’70s. There was a shortage of doctors and visas were being given to foreign medical graduates. My great aunt, Ayesha, financially stable, sponsored my recently widowed grandmother, Sophia.
After struggling with the American immigration system for many years, my parents and I finally immigrated to the United States in 1986. It was not an easy choice. When my father first came to the U.S., he couldn’t get a $500 loan to buy a car. He worked two jobs, my mother studied twice as hard. After 10 years, they earned their American dream: being an Accountant and Physician, giving their two daughters a good education, and keeping the culture and country we left behind alive in our hearts.
My parents and I came to the U.S.A and discovered this new country and culture together. I have a fond memory of teaching my mother to make french toast at the age of 6 because I saw Pee Wee Herman make them. I learned about American culture from books, television, and my peers, but my 2nd generation children have the unique experience of learning about Muslim American and South Asian American culture from me.
Ramadan, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Eid – what do they mean to us? This blog is an exploration, confession, and conversation. Like all religions, Islam is a spectrum, and culture is a big variable for where you fall on the spectrum. The place where American culture and Islam intersect is where I live. My views are progressive, I’m optimistic to a fault, and I have a collection of rose-colored glasses.
I started IslamiMommy to share the traditions and activities that bring joy to my family.
Peace & Salam,
Natasha Khan Kazi is an author and illustrator of children’s books and a digital content creator. Her debut book, MOON’S RAMADAN (Versify/HarperCollins) releases in 2023. Natasha shares Islamic arts & crafts for kids on her blog entitled “IslamiMommy”. She currently lives in California with her family.