My friend and Ramadan

medical building

I go to a medical building (the one above) often because I had Invisalign so you have to go a lot to get checked.  Also, my regular dentist is in the building and I go for cleaning more than some.   SO…..all that only to tell you I have spoken more often than most would have occasion to with the very nice, rather elderly man who seems to manage the parking area ($12 an hour…I swear.. We are ALL in the wrong business $$)

I know he’s from Iran.  I know he’s a Muslim.  I know he agrees that the $12 I had to pay today was insane.  I believe he’s been here about 20 years, I’m not sure.   I know he’s extremely sweet to me and treats me with the greatest respect, which I do, him.

Today, he happened to be standing by my car as I came out of the building and I said “Happy Ramadan!” (not knowing if that was the right thing to say or not…happy, sad? I don’t know!) and he looked up rather surprised and I said “You ARE Muslim, yes?”   He said yes and then I stupidly asked “But you’re working?” (Forgetting that they DO work during this time, they just don’t eat during the day)…he said to me:

“I am working, of course, I am an  AMERICAN Muslim..”  He covered his heart with his hand and said “….Religion is only in my heart.  Do you know I had to go to the Soc. Sec. office recently and the woman said ‘My goodness, you’ve never missed a day of work!'”

I said that immigrants aren’t like that anymore in America and thanked him for his work ethic. And, of course (because I can never get off my political soapbox), I added “Things aren’t too good under Obama!”  He said “You are not kidding, we have no foreign policy!” (with his thick Persian accent)…he continued with “Did you hear Donald Trump the other night!? He said ‘We need another another MacArthur or Patton’….wasn’t that great?”

By now I was feeling very much like Carole King “I feel the earth move, under my feet…I feel the sky tumblin’ down…”

Do you know I actually hugged him very quickly?  (I needed that for a second so I could keep standing while the earth moved!)   And he thanked me and said some very kind things and we said goodbye….. THAT is a muslim immigrant I’m happy to know.

Okay…maybe he’s the only ONE but… (smile)  By the way, I asked him what his name was…” Mohammed!”   🙂

Z

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9 Responses to My friend and Ramadan

  1. silverfiddle says:

    Since he’s Iranian, the proper Persian greeting is “Ramazan Mubarak.” Note the ‘z’ instead of a ‘d.’

    America has benefited greatly from our Iranian immigrants who came here when the Shah fell. They are genuinely thankful to be here, and their children and grandchildren have become doctors, scientists, and military officers. Most importantly, they’ve become patriotic Americans. I served with quite a few people of Iranian descent, and the Air Force doc who took out my appendix was from Iran.

    They remind me of my own grandparents in a way. I remember as a small child asking them why we don’t speak the languages of the old country, and they shouted in their thick Slavic accents that “We’re Americans! We speak American!”

    Thank you for this story, Z.

  2. Lisa says:

    Immigrants know the value of hard work,which is why they beat us in education also. It’s not more money that is needed ,it’s their value system and not all immigrants are criminals. Only the ones who sneak in here.
    Thank you for that story Z. Very “earth moving” indeed

  3. Mustang says:
    Very nice story. I do not think we have much to fear from Iranian immigrants, actually. I have never heard of one cutting off women’s heads in the place where they work. The people I am learning not to trust are the Arab hotheads living within what appears to be American stans (Dearbornstan, Fairfaxstan), and of course the “self-radicalized” Leroy Wilson AKA Abdul ibn Fulluvit. I should add that I think the press gives a pass to extremist Islam by suggesting Leroy self-radicalized when in fact Sharpton and Obama and a local Imam have been working over time to create his anger.
  4. geeez2014 says:

    SF: That’s exactly right, the Persians who came here after the Shah’s fall are very different. They’re still rather tougher than some in business dealings … I’ve seen it ALL too often. I have a friend who owned a German car repair and he told me so many times about Persians whose bill was $1000 and they’d slip him $800 cash and say “that’s enough for you!” It got to be a joke with us “That’s enough for you!” Of course, it was not and he’d get the rest of the money, but they tried! It happened only with Persians and it’s a story I’ve heard from others in business.

    There are tons of Persians in L.A. whose families came after the Shah and they do have their own areas of shops, etc…I know MANY. But this man stood out; I wrote about him because he went beyond the norm.

    Lisa, the Persians who came here came to L.A. mostly had a LOT of money, but this man seems not to have….what was wonderful was to see his work ethic because it was clear he didn’t want any outside help. Glad you liked this story!

    Mustang…..Yes, that’s a huge threat….And the prison population which is already angry for being in prison and then hears islamists piling the hate on them for Americans is an enormous threat when they get out. And the ‘stans’. Who would EVER have thought Americans would allow areas of such hatred toward this country to thrive? How many do you think live on OUR welfare money in those ‘stans’? I’m wagering a LOT do. “Ibn Fulluvit”..good one 🙂

    I forgot to add the best part of the story and will now…..I asked this man his name yesterday and he said “Mohammed” I just had to laugh 🙂

  5. Imp says:

    @Mustang..”Leroy Wilson AKA Abdul ibn Fulluvit.” I think I’m seen him use Abdul Kareema Wheet too?

  6. Mustang,
    I do not think we have much to fear from Iranian immigrants, actually. I have never heard of one cutting off women’s heads in the place where they work.

    I concur.

    BTW, tonight Megyn Kelley is interviewing the Oklahoma woman who survived a beheading attempt at her workplace. There was one beheading victim there that day: Colleen Hufford. I’ll be watching Megyn Kelley’s show tonight!

  7. Baysider says:

    Z, I felt the same way when a colleague told me her Japanese grandparents (educated through high school in Japanese school) had gone back to American school in the primary grades to learn English so they could take their citizenship test. It meant something to them. Notice these stories are about older people. It’s like ‘cheap grace’ today.

  8. FB says:

    Great story. I had a Muslim friend from Bangladesh on the East coast. Extremely driven, created his own IT business. America is very good at making people live together through work. This is exactly why I’m against any type of socialistic system. You sink the economy, pay people to work less or not at all and social breakdown takes place unless the people are extremely disciplined and ethical with their system, and are aware they cannot stretch it (Scandinavian countries.) But this isn’t the case of countries like France or the US, which are very individualistic societies.

    Also we must differentiate the people from their government. Nothing’s black and white. When I watch Anthony Bourdain on CNN, I realize the life and experience of people in other countries cannot be simplified by our dumb-down media. Iran is a great example.

  9. Kid says:

    Great story Z. I missed this one somehow.

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