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!” 🙂