I lived a near perfect Islamic lifestyle from the time that I was born until the age of 9 years old. My family lived in New Mexico close to Dar-ul Islam mosque & school built in the mountains in Abiquiu. The Muslim community there was incredibly diverse, beautifully spiritual, and open-minded. Most of the people had converted to Islam decades ago and were raising their children in this new faith they had come to understand and love. There in the New Mexican Muslim haven that our parents had established, us kids grew up without knowing much about racism or violence and spent our time outside for most of the daylight hours. When my mom was offered and accepted a teaching job at an Islamic school in Canton, Michigan our lives became radically different. We found that the Muslim community in Michigan was also diverse yet quite segregated. It took one year for us to become part of the family there, and once we were in we were loved and considered 'the cool black family' from the Southwest.I began wearing the hijaab or headscarf at around 10 years old. It wasn't an issue until I attended a public high school, but even then, there were 3 hijaab-ed girls there already, representing Islam and cushioning my entrance as a freshman. Because I didn't only associate with the other covered Muslim girls, but I mingled with the chem nerds and starred in drama productions, and read the morning announcements over the speaker, I quickly became one the well known and liked students at Ypsilanti High School.Four years later on a full-ride scholarship, I entered The University of Michigan, a college of which the Muslim Students' Association (MSA) was legendary! Freshman year I became the liaison for the MSA and the Black Student Union, next year I served as Secretary of the MSA, and, senior year I was the Vice President of the organization. For all four years of my undergraduate career the MSA was in the running for 'Best Campus Organization' and we took the trophy home 2 times during my 3 executive board terms. Unfortunately or fortunately, I haven't yet decided, I put more focus and effort into MSA than I did my schoolwork. Although I grew significantly academically, my faith and enthusiasm for Islam blossomed exponentially. We did so much good for Muslims and everyone on campus, by raising money for disaster victims, collecting food, raising awareness, and establishing spiritual getaways -- MSA was incredible to be a part of! I do have to mention that as much as we tried not to be, the MSA was a tad clique-y.
After graduation I wanted to start a working career but due to the recession and perhaps my hijaab, I was not able to find employment. I got married in December 2008, officially sealing the marriage circle of my parent's children and introducing yet another race into our diverse spouse pool (we have Japanese, Italian, African, Kurdish, and Caucasian). Currently, I work three jobs: I am a paid writer for Examiner.com (Detroit Muslim Examiner), I am a standardized patient instructor at the UM school of Dentistry and Medicine, and I am a child care provider at a Muslim owned daycare in Ann Arbor, MI. I volunteer at my local masjid, I donate to charity once a month, I like to be educated and up-to date of current affairs, I keep my nose clean and stay out of trouble. I am a lovely example of the American citizen.Asalaamu Alaykum & God Bless America.~Sakina
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