Afifa Latif and Hamzah Latif
DescriptionAfifa Latif (22) talks with her brother Hamzah Latif (29) about her experiences with anti-Muslim sentiment growing up and her efforts to take a stand against it.
Subject Log / Time Code
- Afifa Latif
- Hamzah Latif
Recording LocationManoogian Hall
Partnership TypeFee for Service
- 9/11/2001, September 11, 9/11
- Assimilation, Acculturation
- Childhood memories
- College, University
- Earliest Memories
- Ethnic Identity
- Historical Events And People
- Middle Class
- Racial Identity
- Traumatic Memories
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00:06 Ames afifa Latif I'm 22 years old today is May 10th. We're at Wayne State and I'm with my brother.
00:17 My name is Hamza Latif 29 years old. Today's date is May 10th. We are at Wayne State Detroit Michigan and I am here with my sister afifa Latif.
00:31 All right. So we're going to start talking about spirituality and faith and I'm excited to be here with you if he felt like we had talked about earlier today when we were trying to come up with some notes to discuss we started talking about what your earliest memories were of participating in religion. So aren't you start off with that?
00:54 For me my earliest memory when I think of Islam and I think of kind of who I am it goes back to
01:02 Mecca because when we were living in Casa or we would go there three times like over the course of living there. We went there three times and I remember taking a road trip there with our family and I remember all three of like our other brother with us. We were all crammed in the back and there was no leg room and you guys would make me sit in the middle and we would drive for hours and we would get to Mecca.
01:28 And Amber
01:31 Going to the Kava and
01:36 Just seeing so many people there was so many people from like the moment that you would enter the city. So you like walking into the Kaaba and you will see people from all of the different countries. You would hear like a thousand different like languages like all around you.
01:51 And you would see people from like Jeff Flake different socioeconomic classes, and I think it was amazing to see everybody just come together and just pray there.
02:01 And there's this calmness over there and there's this feeling because really spiritual feeling that like you don't like when you're that young when we were like I was like five or some like that like you don't know what spirituality is. You don't know what religion is you can just feel that stuff and that's what I felt and then you were there like with you Mom and Dad are like pies in our other brother.
02:23 And that's kind of what religion was like it was seeing, you know, I was seeing our parents go and give food to people because we would be there in the last 10 days of Ramadan two people would be fasting and our parents would be going like would go and get food and you would see well the Saudi government would just like give out a bunch of food to and did they would just be like trucks and people would just be like unloading a bunch of bread and cheese and like that's what would be happy and you have people just randomly walking up to you and giving you T from their stuff and like you didn't know them and I think for me that's what Islam was. It was family. It was Community it was
02:58 Like I don't know you do get that and I mean we were all fasting at the time but you were were you fasting how old were you when we use it when I work fasting I was fasting because I would buy dad would give me a gift at the end because I fasted all the days and as far as the time that we spent there was typically the last 10 days and since you were that young what do you remember of like not just the environment cause you to talk about the Traditions part of it, but what do you remember of like just being there as a child like, what do you picture in your head when you and you think of the Kaaba?
03:45 You mean in terms of just like praying there?
03:53 I remember just I think what we talked about this earlier where it was really interesting because when we like any of the other countries that we would be living and when you would pray you pray separately like men and women would pray separately but at the Kaaba you wanted to sound completely forgotten about those really young like everybody would be praying side to side. So I think for you you got to pray next to Mom and be yeah, I was really young. So I think I would still go and pray like in the men's section. That was younger like it didn't matter to me, but I think that you pointed out to okay so great. So that was your earliest memories. I mean, how did it change as you grew up?
04:37 Cuz we were still in got there for a couple years after that before we moved to the states that Foundation was just like solidified even more of like what it meant.
04:50 For me, which was just Community just brought everyone together let you know like during Eid you'd like walk around and people are either would be like our holiday. That would be celebrating the end of Ramadan and you would just be walking around people give you treats witches.
05:05 Kind of just like trick-or-treating here at the light at the end at the end of days like you would like walk around to the different houses. They give you different like food and they'd give you like your neighbors would give you like money and stuff just to look a gift. But yeah, and then ended up moving to
05:31 The US when I was thinking 2004-2005 which was supposed 9/11 and I think that was the first time where I saw this drastic shift in.
05:47 Like my rotors I got to get I'm sure you felt the same way too. Like I said, we have quite a bit of family here prior to that. Our dad is one of 10 and majority of them were already here and we had heard quite a few stories about them living in the states. So
06:03 I mean we can move forward but I know our experience was a little bit different than the America that they had arrived in. So we moved here 2004. I was in high school and you were in fourth grade and fourth grade. So what was that transition like?
06:20 That was
06:22 It's funny cuz I've talked about this is like talking points and I hate getting to details because now they're just be coming to like these Snippets in my past that I just like to talk about but there's a few ver defining one's know and that's what it is. It's just so I remember
06:39 Being on the playground and I remember parents would wait after this. Like I didn't like at the end of the school day people the parents would wait or outside 4th grade didn't think I was seven or eight parents would wait by the Light by the fence basically and wait for their kids to basically leave and I remember standing near the fence. So because we were still in the school and they were outside the school and I remember one of the parents are a couple of the parents yell terrorist at me and I remember
07:17 This one was when was that you just it doesn't make sense to you know, but like, you know that it should hurt and it does hurt but you can't comprehend. Why because you can't understand someone that's so much older than you saying something like that to you. And also like I was really on my 911 happen, so I didn't really understand that. I don't understand that. I had to like bear the burden of like when it happened because that wasn't for you as a Muslim because of because I wore a scarf cuz I wore a scarf when I went to Makkah. I remember I just looking like way back like I wanted to wear scarf because I saw how much Beauty it wasn't like to meet wearing a scarf was beautiful and I remember wearing like mini skirts and a scarf but I wanted to wear that scarf because it was beautiful to me. And so yes when I came here, it was just a completely different understanding of like the other day. I was reading up on some articles and I just I never look at the bottom section of article is because I know. That stuff is the most ignorant stuff like you'll ever come across. Yeah the comment section
08:16 And I was scrolling down and a person literally said that I get a scared like if I was ever to think about like the KKK or if I see a person in a scarf or like it's very like close to each other and
08:31 I can imagine that way cuz it's like a piece of fabric. Like that's all that my scarf is and I can't imagine that like it can stand for so much more for some people in a light. I never even like the thought of it in no going back to the playground. When do you go when you when that happened your initial reaction was just that you were hurt, but you didn't really know why this world or something. So it's like a really didn't even make sense to me and then and then we are very normal. And then the next thing that I remember is being on you don't like those other things in the playground that look like like a spider web. I think they're called a geometric Dome. I looked it up it was called but that's what it is and I remember hanging from it.
09:23 So like both of my legs when I got banned like I was clinging on to it. So I was like significant like off the ground and I remember somebody climbing inside of the Dome.
09:34 Talking to me calling me a terrorist and then ripping it off of my staff members bring a peach scarf and it just ripped it off of my head and
09:44 Yeah, that was a fellow classmate. That was somebody that was in my class and I just like couldn't.
09:50 Believe it like I couldn't believe it because and that's what I think that's like one of the most scarring incidents that I've had. You called uterus and pulled your scarf off.
10:07 Yeah, I wasn't good like that something at like always because you know what it is in those moments you feel so small and you feel like you don't have dignity and I feel like even now sometimes when I get moments of like where I feel really insecure.
10:26 It's for moments like that where you just like you feel so so so it's not that point and I know that.
10:34 During that same time.
10:37 Mom and I like my my so we call her mom. I am I used to feel so I hated it because when I used to come home, and I used to tell her that stuff.
10:48 I could see her becoming really sad because she couldn't do anything for me. Right and like that's your kid like you've had a kid and you brought them here.
10:58 And that's just what happens and making her feel small was even worse than like what I went through. I hated putting her in that position.
11:09 Well, it was also a different struggle because you want to collect yourself because I remember when you decided when you made the actual decision to put the scarf on it was a very different conversation than what I expected because you wanted to wear the scarf earlier than you actually started and both my might but by my Mom and Dad we're actually against and they wanted you to hold off and it was around the time of 9/11. Yeah, so you decided to wear it and then it contributed to you being bullied at school. So then we can come home and talk about it. My mom's like earliest like my mom would just tell me just take it off everything in the family said take it off. My aunt's want me to take it off cuz my brothers cousins like my dad my mom specially cuz she didn't want me to see it like go through that thing that you said about it when you were like, what's 7 or 80? Remember that line?
12:09 I'm still the same person. Nothing is changed about not going to love me anymore. That's all that it is not going to change. I don't know. I think that's one of those things like I stuck with. I don't know if you ever think about is like something that you done near you is like you still do them now. Like if you have enough courage to still do that and I'll get someone with my scarf off my head now like what I still want to keep it on or like what I have felt that danger now and rationalize it to be like it could be so much worse in some when I get home right now to take my scarf off what could happen next?
12:46 Heights oh, I mean that was 6th 7th 8th grade. I remember then you went to Henry Ford High School people there who are strong for you and I Remember by Jen would he was he would come into campus and he would talk to the principal and he would try to like talk to the teachers and try to figure out like, you know, if there could be some programs that we could be running on campus and stuff like that and sensitivity training other people.
13:23 Doing like you do fighting for your rights under the early campaigning for you and loving for you at that point.
13:30 And then we entered high school and things are a lot better because people learn to know you and I think when you get to know people your conceptions go away or Miss acceptance go away and I think that's what happened a little bit in high school, but I still had like a teacher who I remember this is the worst thing ever. Remember he like I was saying in the back of the classroom. And is AP comparative politics teacher and government teacher and he was like right in we watch 911 movie right after class ended everyone turn on just like you looked at me.
14:06 I felt like I turned red like I felt warm cuz I was just like I feel bad but I did.
14:19 That wasn't me. Like I didn't do that and then bring that same class. He was just like I'll give everyone extra credit if they can yell Allahu Akbar in like pretend to like be a jihadist and like themselves up. So he was literally offering extra credit if someone did that like yeah, and I was just I was like crying
14:45 I'm looking for that one too. And I was like, what is it? Like what is happening? And I remembered that was the first time I like I was just I was so mad. I was past the point of even being hurt and I remember most of my teacher and being like listen, I feel extremely victimized by you by you doing this. So I'd like it if you don't do this in class again, and if you do like I will go to Administration about and I think that's on me. Like I never had this ain't like, you know me, you know that I'm not a confrontational person and I remember doing that things got a little bit better because people got to have access to you a little bit more. I got to know you a little bit with just cuz the same kids are going to the high school or was it because all those sensitivity training is in the involvement of the family with the school helped were you feeling more confident? I think I think it's like a mixture of things. I don't think that I felt confident. I don't think it was like from inside. Like I don't think that I was at that point yet because I was still really insecure but I think that you see a bigger for
15:45 Is that you have to like no one else is going to speak up for you. So whether or not you're ready for it or not, you need to do something about in your community. From what I remember do I Remember by high school? Cuz I remember once you were part of student council said you would kind of internalized understanding that you are going to be the most. Um spokesperson. There was only one other Muslim girl in your high school from what I remember and she can wear a scarf so people didn't really it but you were easily identifiable but I remember you being a little bit more, I think compared to how I feel now, what was Dearborn?
16:17 If you compare that to like that time. It's very different. Like I think the level that I'm at so I would consider that to be like nothing compared to how I feel right now in terms of like feeling confident with who I am with my done and stuff like that. But yeah, like a definitely more than elementary school, right? Cuz like I would have migraines elementary school because I'd be like clenching my teeth and watching like I was a depressed a lot throughout Elementary School in high school. I didn't have that experience. I'm actually curious to know tell me about your high school never talked about stuff that like cuz I had these really tangible things that I went through but I know that you played sport I know that helped you but we never talked about if you ever faced this type of stuff Point me out people would assume I'm Indian and so I did a lot of sports and so the one thing that
17:15 Really Trump's in a skin color your religion. Your race is sports. Cuz once I was a swimmer, once you're in the pool, all that matters is your time, but the team camaraderie happens in the locker room, when people are talking the races are being assigned and you know, people would look at me and be like, all right, so you're doing the hundred breast just as you know, that's your best event and I felt really empowered by that and then the whole team would cuddle up and then they do a prayer and it would do the Our Father prayer which is illegal because it's a public school and then I would stand in the corner and wait till they were done. So that was like another moment where I would feel very confident that feel part of the team and then instantly right before you ran out and did like the Falcons cheer which I led because I was a captain right before that. I would be sitting outside the the Our Father prayer just waiting for them to finish so that I could rejoin my place on the team. So like it was moments like that that we're just a quick reminder like hey, you're like us but by the way, you're not completely like us so it was those kind of things which
18:15 Didn't really affect me that much because overall in I spend majority the time of the team you remember my best friends were all in the swim team my play tennis as well never be was really supportive. But I remember when we did the prayer that was like a very alienating moment that always stuck with me. It was a good reminder to me to to remember that we can assimilate as much as we want but there's always like some areas that will never be consistent there any who so after high school, you know our brother for her and went to University of michigan-dearborn then I went there and then you follow to fix years later so that you were that picture when I was in Lake Elementary School and like you'd brought me to school and it was like You by Jonathan like my picture right next to you guys and you're like I still hope you go somewhere. Oh, yeah.
19:05 I loved your voice. No, it was it was a double-edged sword left for you. Like it was for me. Like I'm going to school with my brother had to go into previously. But so you had mentioned you felt a lot more confident by the time you got to college. So like talk about that again. Was it just the demographic shift?
19:24 Yeah, I'm so Dearborn has a lot of Muslims and I think it's always associated with like they're of Muslims, but I don't think people I think it's because
19:39 Alienated so much in the media that when you come to Dearborn you can be like a Pakistani Muslim a black Muslim. It doesn't matter about your ethnicity as much as the religion of the underlying factor and it's not like religion is like it's not like his mom is like the same here like in Dearborn it's not because you have all the different sex and you see like the different colors in different leg shades of Islam being practiced and and I think it's just people are just so comfortable with who you are and people aren't threatened by you and people aren't like scared of the differences at all. And I think that's what's really truly inspiring about it and like, you know, when you come to do on people like do think about a lot about it being Muslim, but that's not true. Like there's like a lot of my friends are
20:35 Christian over here like it's a very like predominant thing over here. That's what it is though. And then I was like Jewish friends here too and like nobody really Ponder's on that like at all. Right, like it's just another aspect of you but it's not defining of you and what's really defining is the kind of person that you are and I think over here I got to focus in on who I wasn't like what I wanted to do and how I wanted to give back to the community and you know, you stop feeling scared about your identity and you learn to embrace it and you try to figure out how you can give back and I think that's what you're bored allowed me to do so is so he's the one with some kid and so no other area of your personality even shows because you're easily identified but once you move to Dearborn like you said that from being one of the two Muslims in the entire High School to being one of the 30% you know people of color and then I think 17% Muslim at the Dearborn campus you felt like it allowed you to hold in another skills your sense of humor like your personality.
21:35 Because people were interested in that side of you rather than just being like we'll talk about your culture or talk about your religion. Was there any identifying moments in your college days that you really look back at it and think you'll just this is I'm happy you're here or you know, there's certain things I miss from high school.
21:59 No, I
22:02 Dearborn is like a hole is just
22:05 I mean, okay, I think one of the most liked interesting aspects has been
22:12 I don't know like what are you asking like in terms of what what opportunities did it lead to now that you had this, you know time to discover yourself to understand other sides of your personality would have that lead to
22:25 I think one of the biggest things that it's okay. Well I do a lot more. So I did a lot of like stuff with a machine or national which is the human rights which leg raises awareness of human rights violations abroad in domestically like I would never touch if I was in Sterling Heights just because I felt like I don't have the right to like deal with that kind of
22:50 Then we would talk about for example, like right now when we were dealing with the the Muslim registry and stuff like that. Right? Like I wouldn't in Sterling Heights, I wouldn't have been comfortable to say that like that's wrong or like you shouldn't do that because I was trying to just find my place. You're like listen to just let me be here and then in Dearborn, it's like no like it's my right to be here and also this law is ridiculous and subtracting a lot of people contacting me right now because I'm here but it's affecting a lot of people and like Muslims should be like finded like come in another country and it's not just Muslims. It's like it's all like it's a lot of different communities anything for me that makes me feel really good about it.
23:32 Yeah, so
23:36 Recently you had a meeting. Yeah, and then I think the biggest thing which has been I can't believe I even had this opportunity Rover proud of you.
23:50 Actually, I do want to say this though before like the reason why this me okay, so I had a chance to meet with Mark Zuckerberg. And the reason why this is really really really exciting is because post-elections. I was feeling really paralyzed. I felt kind of like how I felt when I was in Sterling Heights where it doesn't matter the kind of person that you are or how hard you've tried.
24:13 There's this narrative about you as a Muslim and you're constantly the exception to that and Beauty second cuz I'm not the exception like I am a normal citizen just keep looking at people's comments that they were posting and if you felt this way too, but like I became disgusted by like what I was seeing because the thing is like
24:43 You can have people have opinions and everybody should have a pinion my biggest worry was that.
24:51 They're not factual.
24:54 And you're and these articles that are living posted people. I really like posting them and just like, you know for me, they're like really long opinions about them.
25:01 That is like super dangerous to leave the Democratic process to people and then like honestly just two people like to you and I like it's dangerous because my people for thinking that we can all your dangerous like any more lies Community is like again, like dangerous to the greater Society. It results in free sample not like more hate crimes, right? It results in a week are most being vandalized. It results in people like pulling up other people's like or like random people pulling off your scarf and people yelling things that you like the same reason why I like Dad wouldn't let me drive to Indiana alone because it's dangerous and I remember like when I stopped in Indiana like a month ago, they were people that were literally staring at me and like whispering and like I'm not used anymore cuz I live in Dearborn and like I've been so out of touch with that like when someone is looking at me and just like it made everybody uncomfortable like, you know, just me being there any way in soap
26:00 I was just driving to be enough for like a in beta Alpha Psi, which is a professional fraternity for accounting and finance and I was there to like for a competition basically and you took a road trip out had to stop for gas. So I'm with my friends to say this. I like a lot of my friends are like white who I went with and I remember that they felt uncomfortable because of like how I was being treated like there was like very obvious. It wasn't subtle racism that everybody talks about it was bleeding like watch out with me. So you needed an escort literally so
26:44 Anyway, the point of that was that like
26:47 That's how you need to be. So careful that like the kind of stuff that you're posting and stuff. And so I think
26:58 The biggest challenge was seeing all the different articles because like I think of some minority the only thing that you have are like facts and Truth to like fight against what people are like falsies thing about you is like if you have someone using race against you you have like a logical explanation like a you're wrong because X Y and Z when you have people saying these really like racially insensitive things and it's incorrect things and you're saying hey that's wrong. Then they're coming in with like alternative facts in there. Like know all this is what this thing says, you know, like I've heard article saying that like, there's a big muscles make up like 30% of like the population in the u.s. Like we make up 2% if that read like a super like generous cystic.
27:41 And so that's like so I remember just like not want to do anything. Like I shut off like everything. I got like you do this to exactly tag me on Facebook and like I wouldn't be there like Instagram just because of the stuff that you can my friends like who knew me were posting stuff. That was so factually incorrect and for them like this election for me was so much more than like it went past like it went past like economics and I went past health and I went past all that stuff because and immigration so because it was like how people or treating each other in like how dangerous it was becoming four people and a lot of people didn't understand it. Why does election was so important reverting back to like feeling helpless like your narrative was being reset. Yeah, exactly. There's not enough sensitivity training for Facebook. So randomly during finals week. This was liking two weeks ago during finals week. I get this email and it's just like
28:36 You're being invited to a meeting with a prominent Silicon Valley executive know who this is really I didn't know who it was and I was like, okay like you were getting it because you thought that like did a lot in the community who gave back not just like to the Muslim Community but was giving back to the community like as a whole and you know ya to the community like Americorps stuff like that. So they kind of saw all of that sounds like a good student.
29:18 And I was kind of working in this sector to so then they were they asked me to come to this meeting and it just said that you don't they just want to talk about your hopes your dreams. The challenges of the Muslim Community literally had no idea about and I was like, I don't know who this person is. I don't know what you talk about, you know, and then the day before I get an email and it says you're going to be meeting with Mark Zuckerberg and he remember just being so overwhelmed. Who else right like because and you think of yeah.
30:07 I kind of had this feeling anyway, so then like they basically told us about it being Mark Zuckerberg a member just being completely overlooked when you see it like Mark Zuckerberg zombie coming to campus is different than you like thinking about it and being like, oh, okay, then you got the invite. I got the invite. I was really stressed out because now all the sudden I felt like I had to represent the entire Muslim Community with just me, you know, I mean, there's like 10 people there but it's like us a lot of responsibility because you have a person coming directly to speak to Muslim Students and try to figure out and you don't want to like, why did Mark Zuckerberg want to meet students from you and stuff like that, but I think he wanted to figure out more about like
30:52 Muslim Community, I just have conversations like with people.
31:00 And so I mean like a list like a list and does Liz became extremely long and I was like, okay like them because they're basically said, what is it that you want to focus in on in your conversation with him and I was like, okay, so I had to listen and I was like, okay the person who create a platform that's used by more than a quarter of a million like quarter of like the world's population is coming to campus. I'm worried about fake news and how it's affecting the Muslim Community in Marshallese Community. Like this would be an ideal time to talk about like fake news and like how Facebook can help with that because that's a primary source of people's information. So that was your one point. That was my one point and so I
31:42 Had that like ready to go and then in the morning of like the meeting I was like sitting in the room.
31:48 It is nine 9 in front of her kids with real nervous were you right before you walked in, You know?
32:02 Oh, I don't know like how do you make an impression on someone right? Cuz you don't even have an hour with him. You want to get your point across you want to get to know you because also you're like oh my God, this is Mark Zuckerberg and I remember sitting there and we were like talking to people around us trying to just like make normal conversation. But like how can you make a normal conversation with someone let that's like so influential about to walk into the room.
32:25 So we were just kept Lake Whispering. Anyways, when he said his like his one of his members in his team. You'll just be yourself. It's just like a fun conversation. We having. Hey guys, I'm Mark and we were like, we know who you are. Why are you going to do some yourself? Okay, and I want to have everything ready. Like you don't really stand up and shake his hand and right when I stood up he's like right behind me. My car didn't get stuck in the chair and I just like pool and like I get pushed back in for like a handshake. Could you were Twisted? What did he say?
33:24 Sterling this is why we need a dislike button.
33:29 Chrysolite. Yeah, so he went around then he like, you know, sat down he talked about.
33:36 We basically went around he wanted to hear some of our background Newark our stories and kind of like what meet us and then so you have like things that like made us different from a lot of different communities in the US, but you also wanted to hear like, you know, just what we wanted to do. When a lot of that came down to like a lot of us. Just want to make
33:53 Like a better country for our kids for ourselves, you know, look for opportunities to give back to our communities, you know, you go with like a pretty versatile feeling, you know, when you brought up the the alternative Factor fake information on the Repose of all these bikes and let these really controversial conversations. You need to you need to build common ground for the past 9 10 years. That's what Facebook has been doing is we're trying to build is coming down. He's like but this time of the conversation to address my question and you basically said that you know, this some of that Facebook is working on his MBA that we care about. This is like we understand like kind of how important this is to read an article in New York Times and in a press conference. He was literally asked you feel responsible for the election going the way it did because of how much fake news was perpetuate.
34:53 In the news feed section of Facebook and his response was pretty big he refused to take responsibility for it. But he did also mention like it's you know, we have to figure out how far we draw the line on policing data that's on Facebook. So what was his reaction in the room when you brought it up?
35:15 He understood the importance of it and again, like he didn't want to say anything and I don't want to read too much into it like with whatever he said but I remember him just trying to tell us we're at the Inception of Facebook with the purpose was and then kind of that. He knows that this is like a problem and that they're working on it like actively you know, and I know and I appreciate it that like, you know that mean it's good to be the biggest thing was a people like, oh my God, he's doing is like a political sun or whatever and I think it doesn't matter right because the point of it is that is someone so powerful is taking out time to come and listen to your community is concerned how much that means to you. You don't like that kind of like it empowered me and it made me feel like I had some purpose and like I feel like a lot of things in life happen, right and I wouldn't have been able to share my story with him or have the credibility that I did when I went to that room and talked about how listen listen to do have a problem here like, you know, like we are a community that struggling I wouldn't have had that if I didn't go to the stuff that I went through so I think a certain point I don't know.
36:16 What was the reaction of the community since then since you've talked to Mark Zuckerberg and what happened after, you know you this articles about your experience or conversation we had on him.
36:53 What did you say?
36:54 Yeah, let me just get it together.
37:00 Tell him I basically said that I was. Action I felt.
37:06 Like I don't want to post anything up just because you couldn't have like a proper just course with people because you would bring a certain fact in then somebody would also would give like an alternative fact which would just be incorrect and you can't see eye-to-eye and you can't build bridges that way with people did other people chime in or did he respond right away to what you said he responded right away. And what was his response right now, their main goal is just to build a common ground at that point where they need to start working on their way. They are working on that.
37:53 Thank you so much for coming in from Chicago to so thank you so much that we talked about today. Like I remember them. I remember we had so many family meetings about them and just that your experiences of middle school cuz of all the kids you were here, you know wouldn't by Jim got here. He was in college as formative years were over I was in the tail end of mine. So I know like a lot of the stuff that we talked about that clearly we're upsetting you and for you to like remember now, you know, they happen during your formative years and save must it would definitely was tougher on you than the rest of the entire family combined and that's one of the reasons why even though we make fun of you the most you're probably the most respected set blinking.
38:53 Do your parents a day that you can move in at like around what you observed and how your parents react?
39:03 What I told my parents we don't need it until you like how I would phrase it now or what I had told them.
39:12 I love that story and I want to get those words. Yeah, I basically told him that people for me to take my scarf off at wouldn't change anything. I would still be the same person.
39:26 You know and they wouldn't love me anymore or you don't love me anymore. If I took my scarf off because nothing is fundamentally changing who I am and that's kind of what it was and she was 8 years old and she said that and you know people I don't know why but outside of the Muslim Community people look at development as like a very chronological thing, but first Sunday think you're either Muslim or you're not so it was the same way in our house. We all became with slim and more religious on different paths. So like for for me was a little bit different to my older brother and then to see the FIFA the age of eight speaking. So profoundly about understanding identity is not linked to Traditions or prayer or to the scarf and it's linked to who she is at that age was just you know profound. I didn't even understand the complexity of what she had explained to the family at that point until I was in college and you know,
40:26 Mom told us about that story again. And I remember hearing it then and it was just very impressive. It was impressive when I heard it the first time it impresses me to the state and impress me right now and I heard it again for an 8 year old to try to explain to her parents that this is taking him to scarf off would be a symptom relief but wouldn't cure ignorance that she's going to have to deal with from now until you know forever that's impressive. I don't know any kids. I don't know any adults that can speak so eloquently about the intersectionality of like racism and the stuff that Muslims are going through post 9/11.
41:01 Do you remember how?
41:04 My mom felt embarrassed. She says it to this day. She felt small that her younger daughter was lecturing her about the importance of keeping the scarf on and maintaining your identity throughout times like this when she was giving a FIFA sincere advice about what you thought was best but also kind of went against the prescribed path. So it's prescribed that you were a scarf and my mom was telling a FIFA to take it off for her own safety. And so I remember
41:34 My parents didn't react then but later when I asked my mom about it, she told me that she felt embarrassed having to tell a FIFA that maybe it's best.
41:44 Yeah, I know are our mom, you know when thinking about that conversation. I remember she felt very embarrassed about having to tell you to take your scarf off because you know, we were very happy when you decide to put it on despite their advice to holding off and waiting post 911. We have cousins that took the scarf off daddy year older cousins that were here. That's all the pressure from the professor's Etc and took her socks off and you decide to put it on then and keep it on despite. These incidents are happening in school.
42:16 And I know for a fact you were bullied more than than 400 and myself because of your scarf cuz you're so easily identifiable as that terrorists looking person in the family is very impressed by you and you know that I never had the strength without the family though, right? Like you're not going to do something at that age. If you don't have your family there with you the entire time to bring up the fact that it wasn't just you. There's several cousins after like that are younger than I said reach out to you before they make a decision to wear the scarf. So they nail the same way about you know by Jennifer had helped us out and identifying our identity in our high schools and sensitivity training is and kind of taken back that control like you're helping
43:00 Mom, there's a few cousins that you know come to you each other to try and get some of the control back by putting on the scarf. So.
43:20 It's it's absolutely insane how much if he finds already accomplished now how much you've already accomplished graduated early. You took a year off to do Americorps while fasting you're out and Detroit public schools helping with trash clean up all that stuff and then just overall just, you know handling the house stuff as much as you do. It's a point of contention always taken care of chores, but you're able to handle that and extremely high GPA in an area of study that is already hard. You got a 4.0 this semester.
43:59 Something that neither of the other siblings that show where parents and and you're signed to Ernst & Young a year before you graduated which is a very very big deal and you will hear everybody in the family brag about it cousins. I don't even like us brag about it. So I can't even imagine what's next for you. But you know the families behind you 100% And
44:26 The next time there's an interview and if even if I'm in a different state, you can still call me and I'll drive at 4 a.m. To come interview you I love you.