On this past Memorial Day, I spent the holiday celebrating not just with my sister, but with my sister’s in-laws family as well. From our BBQ together, to yoga in the backyard with the kids to catching up on everyone’s busy schedules, it was so wonderful having both sides of the family unite under one roof. Anyone who knows me knows the huge significance my family plays in my life. We grew up in a close middle-class family in Chatsworth as non-practicing Muslims. Rather, my mom and dads parenting style was heavily rooted in a foundation of strong morals and values. So when my sister met her Jewish husband and fell in love and got married with both traditional ceremonies, we were fully supportive of their union as one. Through their marriage, not only was my sister fortunate to gain another set of parents and an additional sister, but we too gained another set of family members as well. We celebrate not only birthdays and holidays together, but also cultural and religious holidays such as the Persian New Year and Channukah together as one.
“Love has no culture, boundaries, race and religion."
The above quote really resonates with me during our Memorial Day gathering together. Despite the differences in our Muslim and Jewish religion, the love and the bond between both families is truly beautiful. It goes to show that religion should not separate people, but rather should be exchanged, should be embraced, and should be cherished for their individual qualities and in turn, bring people together. Regardless of our Jewish and Muslim religion, we are not defined by it, but it rather builds strong characteristic traits within us in an overlapping way. My heart is filled with gratitude with the parallelism I find in both sides of our family.