Relationship: Child of im/migrant

This is a photo of a gold necklace with the first verse of the Quran inscribed in it in Arabic, titled Surah Al Fatihah. This first chapter has an essential role in Islamic prayer. The literal definition of the term "Al Fatihah” is "The Opener," in a sense that it serves as an opening for many traditions and rituals in everyday Islamic life, including daily prayer. In addition, some Muslims interpret the passage as enabling them to open their faith in God. My grandmother gave this pendant to my mother when she first came to America in the 1980s in hopes that she would always have God with her. Although my mom was excited to come here and my grandparents were fully supportive of her decision to move to America, they still worried that she would lose her cultural identity and forget her background. Back in Bangladesh, a predominantly Muslim country, the religion of Islam holds much significance. Giving this pendant to my mom reassured my grandmother that she would carry her Islamic roots with her. Twenty-five years after moving to America, my mom then passed down this pendant to me as a young child. I remember wearing it to Friday prayer classes at the mosque. This pendant symbolizes my family’s relationship to God. Religion has always been an important part of my life, and is something that we can bond over. Although I might not physically appear to be the most religious person, God and my Islamic heritage are close to my heart. 

Place(s): Bangladesh

– Afsana Hussain

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant