Episode 123

Soraya Ahmadyar: Faith, Family, and American Identity


June 24th, 2024

42 mins 43 secs

Season 9

Your Host
Special Guest

About this Episode

In this episode, John Pinna interviews Soraya Ahmadyar, a Muslim woman of Afghan descent living in California. They discuss Soraya's journey of faith, from growing up in a culturally Muslim family to embracing her Islamic identity as a young adult. Soraya shares her experiences balancing her Afghan heritage, American upbringing, and Muslim faith, particularly as she raises her own children. The conversation touches on challenges facing Muslim communities in the US, including stereotypes, security concerns, and conflicts between religious values and certain social trends. Soraya also discusses her involvement in local politics and community engagement, emphasizing the importance of grassroots action to address issues affecting families and communities. Throughout the interview, themes of cultural identity, faith, parenting, and civic responsibility are explored in the context of Soraya's unique perspective as a Muslim woman in contemporary America.

As the eighth child out of 9 of a family of immigrants who escaped the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 70s, Soraya Ahmadyar has called California her home for her entire life. She attained her bachelors degree in business administration and later on pursued a masters in public administration and public policy where she now works for a local public institution.

Growing up, balancing her cultural roots while assimilating to the new American values has always been a challenge. Soraya has inherited a unique worldview that tries to balance her Afghan identity with her American values while also trying to embody her Muslim identity in all facets of her life. Her professional career has led her to dedicate her life to a life of public service. From managing her own non-profit to working with the American University of Afghanistan and the American Chamber of Commerce in Afghanistan and now working in Human Resources for the capitol of Silicon Valley, Soraya is striving to raise two boys with solid core values to be invaluable members of both their home community here in America and the world community at-large.

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