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Imran Moleazay & His Family
At first they [my parents] kept reminding "us that we are Pakistani as well... but growing up we were like we are also American so we had this dual identity... at first it might have been hard for them to understand... but once we started to explain to them our formative years are here... and now that we are older... it is not that much of an issue"
Imran Moleazay, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, is a volunteer at the Al Rahma Community Clinic. In his interview, he discusses his parents move from Pakistan to Minnesota, growing up in the cities, the MCC, his family life, and his future in Washington D.C where he will be attending graduate school.
An interview with Imran's mom (translated from Pashto to English by Imran):
Q. How often do you come to the center?
A. When I'm not working, I try to come on Fridays for prayer. My kids are regular attendees of the mosque.
Q. Why did you choose to come here?
A. Close proximity to our home. Some of our friends also attend the mosque and they were the one who encouraged us to start going here.
Q. What does this community mean to you?
A. For me, this community is a group of people from similar backgrounds who provide support and guidance when needed. The community has well-rounded people in numerous professions so it can be a great resource for almost anything.
Q. What role does religion play in your daily life?
A. Religion is very important to me. It provides structure in my life and keeps me humble and grounded. We pray five times a day so we have to constantly be conscious of time. When I pray, I am also able to reflect on what's important to me in life.
Q. Has you experience in America changed the way you practice?
A. The practice of Islam here is very similar to how we practice it back in Pakistan. Over here, though, you have to remind yourself to pray a little more, whereas in Pakistan, you're almost always surrounded by family to remind you. They also do a regular call to prayer for all five prayers in Pakistan so that always keeps you cognizant. Obviously, over here, we don't have that so you are much more on your own when it comes to practice. Because you are not surrounded as much by family over here, you have to be on yourself more to fulfill your religious obligations.
Q. What do you miss?
A. I miss the big families of back home. In Pakistan, you not only live with your immediate family but also your aunts/uncles, grandparents, cousins, etc. It just adds to the community feel over there.