The Muslim Project: Meet Maheen Khalid

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“I was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. My father was a civil engineer and my mother was a stay home mom with a Bachelor's of Science. She always gave us the extra help and attention we needed for any task in life. I never needed another resource other than her.

I have a Master's degree in Finance from the University of Karachi. I admired learning and gaining knowledge especially from grandfather on my mom side. I use to stay with him and enjoyed the bureaucratic lifestyle he lived. Because of him, my views are very liberal and I was raised with very Limited restrictions. However, we never crossed our boundaries and followed our schedule and rules. I loved being a student and enjoyed making new friends to gain more experience.

I am the oldest daughter in the family and always would strive to be a role model for my siblings. After completing my Master's, I got married to a very noble and nice man names Khalid Noor. He never once has imposed his decisions on me and I have always had the freedom to work, socialize or do anything.

We moved to the Bronx, New York after being married for nine months while I was eight months pregnant with our first child. It was a tough and unique time and the adjustment was very difficult. Learning how to do everything from scratch while carrying a baby around was not easy. But due to my manageable nature, I was able to take on new challenges thrown on me. My husband received a promotion and we moved to Boston after a year and half. In Boston I had two boy and with three kids it was hard to work without many resources and family members for support. I was facing many challenges and my husband was always away at work. Until I met another Pakistani family next door and always received so much help and support from them. I was blessed to meet them since I didn’t know anyone in Boston before.

When my daughter turned five and started elementary school, I was given the opportunity to learn more about the American culture and be involved. I joined different volunteer groups in the community and always felt as if I was representing myself and my country. I always felt like an ambassador and noticed that I was changing the way people thought about Pakistan.

My kids follow my views and are also very involved with learning the culture. They love the language, reading the Quran, going to the Islamic Center. Their views are very positive about Islam and Pakistani culture. I try to guide them in a positive way and I always try to make sure they have a balance.

I am now a substitute teacher and I love my job and the people. It is a very supportive environment and I’ve never had an issue adjusting. Now, I love reaching out to people who are also new immigrants since I also went through the same struggles.”