What it means to be an Afghan-American-Muslim

Whether it's the superstitions I grew up with, a yearning love for mantu (type of food, dumplings to be exact), melodies of classical Afghan music, or haram and halal warnings from my parents while going to my high school football games, being Afghan-American-Muslim is one of the most complex and unique feats in the world. This weekend I had the opportunity to attend the second Afghan-American Conference in Los Angeles, CA. Nearly 500 young people gathered from across the country to connect, discuss challenges and solutions in our community, and how to promote growth and leadership. Organizers of the conference ranged from educators, lawyers, community activists and experts in their fields, one of whom is our very own Husna Mohammadi. The conference left me with hope for the next generation, ready to turn over a new leaf. There is so much power in laying to rest judgements of one another, ethnocentric tendencies, and lack of compassion. There is so much power in uplifting one another, empowering one another, and merging our dreams. One of the privileges of living in Fremont, or "Little Kabul," is that I have the gift of experiencing what it means to be Afghan-American-Muslim, and Islam makes all of those a reality for me. At the conference, we were given the task of expressing our gratitude to someone who changed our life and never knew it. Pictured below is me sharing that moment with Husna, because 4 years ago, she told me to shoot for the stars and apply for a position at Ta'leef. If it wasn't for her support, I wouldn't have took a leap of faith and made that call. And Allah is the best of planners.

swayandhusna

taleef

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