Seems like it was just yesterday I had this photo shoot and interview with The Kitchn. I remember that day so clearly- a photo session at Lincoln Park farmers market, then back to my kitchen to prep food for another shoot. I was exhausted from weeks of filming videos for Ramadan and working on multiple recipe projects. I was in the midst of selling my house and trying to figure out what was happening next in my life. There were so many unknowns but I was too busy to think about any of it. I was even too busy to enjoy all the big wins happening in my work life.

Things are slower now and I can look back and appreciate those moments and actually re-read the article leisurely. Time flies when you’re doing something that you love, but it’s still important to step back and think about your WHY. I simply wanted Halal to become recognized in America. I felt it was crucial to be understood and to be a household word, much like kosher or Mexican food had to go through in the past.

Although I had started this journey 10 years earlier, there was no better time- and there IS no better time than NOW for this to be the case. If there’s anywhere that it can happen, it’s in America. I believe that with all my heart and hope that I was part of that opening in my country, part of that awareness and light on something special and sacred and dear to my heart because I did it with everything I had in me.

I can only look to the future with optimism and excitement because that kind of energy is all I want to carry within me into the years ahead. That is the American way, after all…at least the one in which I grew up. 

You can read the entire interview on The Kitchn here

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