Interview for

Rasha Mohamed

7/24/2019

Interviewed By:

Irene Hsu

Date Interviewed:

Audio Recording of Interview
00:00 / 27:31
Summary

Rasha Mohamed shares her experiences as a refugee studying healthcare in the States while being unable to return to her family in Sudan due to a seven-year long documentation process. Rasha describes the difference between Muslim practice in America versus how she experienced Islam in Egypt and Sudan, and explains her goal of returning to Sudan with her children in the future.

Transcript
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Additional Notes
Outline

Narrator: Rasha Mohamed

Date: 07/24/2019

Location: Lell Thin’s Home


Summary: Rasha Mohamed shares her experiences as a refugee studying healthcare in the States while being unable to return to her family in Sudan due to a seven-year long documentation process. Rasha describes the difference between Muslim practice in America versus how she experienced Islam in Egypt and Sudan, and explains her goal of returning to Sudan with her children in the future.

Topics: Gender, religious practice, family, language, employment, personal finance, place of worship, education, cultural adjustment, commentary on age, immigration process- refugee, future


Outline

Section 1: (00:00-10:32)

  • Immigration, family - Talks about her decision to immigrate due to a fight over basic needs in Sudan, which prompted her gaining refugee status in Egypt then leaving Egypt as a refugee to the U.S. in hopes of a better life. Rasha describes the unexpectedly long process of receiving her papers in the States, which prevents her from visiting her family back home in Sudan. Her lack of documentation in the States contributes to her feeling less free and less safe than in Egypt.

  • Language, cultural adjustment, gender - Expresses her difficulty adapting to American life due to not knowing English upon migrating. Further, she saw the attire for men in women in the States in comparison to those back home as completely different and left her feeling less comfortable in a way that was difficult to describe.

  • Education - Talks about initially staying home with her children when coming to the States while her husband studied, but ultimately felt the need to go to school herself and study nursing since most of her family back home works in the healthcare field.

Section 2: (10:33-19:15)

  • Religious practice, place of worship -  Rasha explained her practice of Islam while describing how most North Sudanese, like her, are Muslim while most South Sudanese are Christian. Describes her prayers five times each day and how she has found a Muslim community in the States in various mosques. Talks about how the American Muslims she has seen do not memorize the Quran in the same way Muslims are expected to in Egypt.

  • Cultural adjustment - Notes how raising children in the States is different than in Egypt and Sudan where there is the risk of having your children taken away from you or the police called on you through Rasha’s customary modes of parenting and telling her children right from wrong. Explains how on a larger scale Americans seem to not be frank with one another on what is right and wrong in their personal opinion. She also sees differences in what is considered modern attire since she finds comfort in clothing that covers her to be respectful rather than showing all of her body.

Section 3: (19:16-27:28)

  • Future - Speaks about plans for moving back to Sudan in the future in order to start a new life with her children.

  • Personal finance, employment, commentary on age - Rasha discusses her belief that it is never too late to push yourself to do better for yourself and to help others by sharing stories of her and her husband graduating from college at 41 and 52 and being able to earn higher wages. Notes how she doesn’t see being a refugee as a detriment but rather an opportunity to receive help that she should use in order to help herself and ultimately help others.