Growing up in a “Middle Eastern” family gives me a slight advantage as a new Muslim.
The phrases commonly used by Muslims such as “in sha’Allah” or “alhumdulillah” were already a part of my everyday vocabulary, and I easily blend into any group of Arab Muslims.
The only thing that gives me away is my name and perhaps the fact that I excitedly pick up books having anything to do with Islam.
The transition from Christianity to Islam was relatively easy for me in terms of adopting Islamic values and adapting to Muslim culture, but the road to get here was difficult and lonely at times.
I was born in an Egyptian Christian household. My mother was raised in the Coptic Church, and my dad was Catholic.
I went to Christian school from kindergarten through high school, and was always finding myself in between Catholic, non-denominational and Coptic churches.
My parents wanted me to find a balance, or rather, a niche, within what seemed like contradicting versions of Christianity.
By my last year of high school, I felt disconnected from common themes within Christianity and after years of Bible classes, the confusion surrounding certain doctrines only increased, and so did the inability of religious leaders to explain them to me.