Hana,13, is the daughter of an imam in Southern California. She is currently in middle school, and plays volleyball on a competitive club team. Read about her experiences growing up as a daughter of imam in the Q&A below.
What are some of your favorite parts about being an imam’s daughter?
I like listening to what he says, and I like seeing the reactions from other people. I just like seeing how he changes the way people think, to a new perspective. I’m not really sure what they’re feeling, but I just look around at everyone and see their faces.
Is anything difficult about being an imam’s daughter?
No, because I’m usually respectful, so it’s not really a hard thing to do. It’s not anything out of character or anything. It’s just who I am: respectful.
Do you think people have expectations for you to act a certain way?
I think I have expectations because I think I should act more proper in front of people to give them respect, and in front of a whole crowd. Sometimes when we need something, I will go up and talk a little bit. It’s because I think I should. I don’t know if other people think that I do, but I think I should.
What are your parents’ expectations for you?
Maybe they think I should act more mature? I’m not sure. They treat me normal. They treat me like any kid. I’m supposed to grow and learn, so they don’t treat me differently or expect higher of me.
Do other kids think differently of you because your dad’s an imam?
They think it’s really cool that my dad speaks in front of many people, and they’d like to come and see him speak and see what he has to say. I think that’s pretty cool because they like to know more about it and what he talks about.
Has your dad always been an imam?
I think he’s always been an imam. He comes here on Fridays whenever he is assigned, and speaks. He has another job. He is a surgical tech at Whittier Presbyterian Hospital, so he helps doctors. So he comes, writes, does whatever he needs to do, speaks out in front of people. On the weekdays he goes to his regular job.
Are there stereotypes for children of imams?
I think they think we’re just regular kids. We’re the same as everyone else. No one’s been stuck up to me or anything. It’s been pretty good. No one thinks that I’m [above them], that I can’t speak to [them] since my dad has a high role at this mosque. No one thinks of me like that. I like to keep it that way.
What’s family life like?
We do a lot of things as a family because we’re all constantly moving. We’re really busy because me and my two younger brothers play sports. I play volleyball and my brothers play baseball, basketball and football, so we’re all playing, constantly moving and it’s just all revolving around the mosque. We keep in mind that the mosque is still here, so we come here a lot. Every Friday we come. My dad comes on the weekends, too.
What are your goals?
To gain more knowledge about what he talks about. To keep learning from every speech he has, and the other speeches that he gives. I just want to keep learning. In the future I want to be either a veterinarian because I like animals, or a nurse because I like people.