Picture of the 'Tasbih'
Picture of the 'Tasbih'

The Tasbih represents my family’s Islamic beliefs. This prayer bead bracelet with its clicking beads counts our holy repetitions and chants. I use it after praying, chanting the 99 names of God that muslims believe in. It makes a clicking sound whenever the beads smack each other. Islam is an integral part of my family’s cultural identity, and the Tasbih serves as a tangible link to our faith, providing comfort and connection to our roots. 

In 2010, we immigrated from Addis Ababa to Las Vegas, adjusting to contrasting landscapes and customs. Though Ethiopia is mostly Christian, my family practices Islam through generations. My family immigrated from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2010. 

What stands out about my family’s immigration story is that they adjusted to an entirely new country and way of life while keeping their Ethiopian cultural essence. My family participates in cultural traditions several times a month to preserve their Ethiopian heritage. Practicing these traditions constantly reminds me of my origins, so I never take my heritage for granted and am proud to embrace it.

As early as I can remember, the Tasbih lived in my home. It hung from the rearview mirror in our car during drives. At home, my mother wrapped the wooden beads around her wrist while preparing meals, murmuring prayers near the stove. After dinner, my father sat on the couch chanting God's 99 names on its strands. The beads’ clicks and clacks provided a soundtrack to my childhood. 

Place(s): Ethiopia
Year: 2010

– Mahfuz Abdelshekur

Relationship:  Im/migrant who arrived as a child Im/migrant who arrived as a child