My great aunt and uncle immigrated to the United States in the 70’s. 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 the 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 the best education, and keeping the culture and country they left behind alive in our hearts.
My parents and I came to the U.S.A learning and discovering 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 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.
Easter, 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 sharing my stories through IslamiMommy because I believe, now more than ever, Muslim Americans should be open about their religion and invite non-Muslims in.
Peace & Salam,
Natasha Khan Kazi was born in Bangladesh and grew up in Texas and Pennsylvania. She is a writer and illustrator of children’s books (https://www.natashakhankazi.com). Natasha shares Islamic educational and cultural resources for kids on her blog entitled “IslamiMommy” (https://www.islamimommy.com). She currently lives in California with her family.