Outside Influence on My Internal Personality

Prompt: How has your family history, culture, or environment influenced who you are?

When some hear my name, Mujahid, the first thing that may come to mind is the Mujahideen, the Afghan warriors in the Cold War era who later became extremist jihadists. Some are taken aback upon hearing it, but I don’t blame them for their skepticism and fear. We Muslims are negatively portrayed in the media that micro-focuses on the very few who cause chaos around the world and ignore the 1.5 billion Muslims who believe in peace. There is a side to Muslims that is not discussed in mainstream media, our desire for justice. When people shed their fear and recognize my compassionate, innovative, and ambitious side, they become aware of my upbringing in a rich culture and faith, my promise, and desire, for equality.

Being raised to look at different perspectives and never shy away from learning about the people around me, I was given a different outlook on life. My parents have recounted their stories of migrating to the US before I was born and how hard they worked in order to give my brothers and me a better future. The veil was quickly removed from my eyes and created an appreciation for any situation I am faced with. My parents inculcated the spirit of attending mosque on a weekly basis in me since childhood, making my Muslim...

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