Relationship: Child of im/migrant
All five books of the Tafsir collection
All five books of the Tafsir collection

Despite growing up in the United States, I’ve always felt a strong connection to the cultural and religious values of Pakistan, my country of origin. A big part of this connection has to do with the memories my parents have of what their parents had taught them or passed on to them. Since childhood, I’ve seen these beautiful red books adorned in golden patterns and been fascinated by them. These books typically come in smaller sections and are collectively known as “Tafsir,” which translates to exegesis. These books are designed to give a thorough analysis of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. Reading these books not only brought me closer to understanding my religion, but also helped me connect to my family. Through analyzing the text from multiple perspectives and explanations, I was able to better understand the meaning behind the Qur'an's intricate words and phrases in Arabic. However, what stuck out to me even more was the history within the pages and the thought of how many generations those books had been passed on to. This realization helped me put in perspective how important a role religion plays in bringing people together and emphasizing family ties. These books have been passed on to my mother from my grandmother, whose mother had passed them on to her. Knowing that these books have been in my family for so many generations not only highlights the importance of religion in my culture but also creates in me a strong sense of belonging. 

Place(s): Pakistan
Year: 1985

– Zenab

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