I’m Muslim And Didn’t Grow Up Celebrating Christmas. Now I Do.

On Friday December 18, 2020 my op-ed called I’m Muslim And Didn’t Celebrate Christmas But My Canadian Kids Had Other Ideas was published on CBC BC. This is a 650-word column based on a 3500-word literary essay I wrote for my Master of Fine Arts class. I’m hoping the essay, or some version of it, will be part of a collection of my experiences as a first-generation Canadian parent.

Consider this column on CBC BC to be a taste of what’s to come! From the response I have received from the public and my own circle of family/friends, these stories are necessary within the Canadian literary landscape. I’m touched by the kind emails I have received from complete strangers and I appreciate the encouragement.

A big part of my parenting is passing down my ancestral culture while helping/watching them grow into their own identity. Culture and identity are such fluid things, yet as someone with my own strong East African-Indian-Muslim identity, I do want my kids to know where they came from, to know what’s been in our family for generations and generations. It’s an emotional experience though one I’m hoping to to tread a little more lightly on, knowing I am doing the best I can.

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