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Muslim-American Heritage Month: Student Stories

August is Muslim-American Heritage Month which focuses on acknowledging and promoting awareness of the invaluable contributions of American Muslims. In honor of this month, Ahmad Ahmadzada (Class of 2024) shares with us his story of growing up in America and how his unique perspective contributed to his career path in Optometry. Read his story below.

Ahmad Ahmadzada, Class of 2024

Having grown up in an Afghan refugee household, Islamic values and character have always been at the forefront of my upbringing. Respecting my parents, my teachers, and my elders. Caring for my family, my workplace, and my society. Enjoining what is good and standing up to that which is harmful. My Muslim identity is what inspired me to pursue a career in healthcare. We have a saying in Islam, “Whoever saves a life, it is although he has saved all of humanity.” I love being able to study what I study and practice what I practice as an American Muslim. Islam has been a part of America’s history from the very beginning, from the dark days of the enslavement of my African brothers and sisters to today with Muslims playing an active role in all avenues of our society, from social justice movements to healthcare. Today, I think of my brothers and sisters suffering in Afghanistan, Palestine, Yemen, and across the world and I dream one day of being able to bring healthcare equity and justice to not only my own patients and community, but to the world, or as we say in Islam, the ‘world family’, Ummah.