My mother's belief in spiritual healers grew stronger after our family went through a rough patch following my father's death. Sufi saint Karimullah Shah Kadri changed our lives, and all of us converted to Sufism. But it wasn't an instantaneous decision - it took us 10 years to convert. The change in religion was like washing away the past.
I'm not from a political family and didn't grow up dreaming of being George Washington. I started working in 8th grade and have held every odd job possible - working in a gravel pit, weighing big wheelers, ticket sales, data base management - but I knew if I worked hard and got experience, I could apply that experience to my next endeavor.
For my parents' generation, the idea was not that marriage was about some kind of idealized, romantic love; it was a partnership. It's about creating family; it's about creating offspring. Indian culture is essentially much more of a 'we' culture. It's a communal culture where you do what's best for the community - you procreate.
'Halal in the Family' will expose a broad audience to some of the realities of being Muslim in America. By using satire, we will encourage people to reconsider their assumptions about Muslims, while providing a balm to those experiencing anti-Muslim bias. I also hope those Uncles and Aunties out there will crack a smile!