Kenneth Tea is an American Muslim from Los Angeles, California. He is the child of Cambodian refugees, and is currently pursuing a degree in African and African-American Studies from Stanford University.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My biggest influence has been my grandmother, Siv Kuy Lim. She grew up in rural Cambodia, before she had to move around the country various times due to being displaced by war. She’s had to bury multiple children, including her three oldest sons. Despite all the challenges that she has faced, she remains to be the kindest person I know. She has taught me to be compassionate to all those around me, and to be compassionate to myself.
What’s the significance for you behind the verses that you picked for the project? “…And whoever fears God—He will make a way out for him. And will provide for him from where he never expected. Whoever relies on God—He will suffice him. God will accomplish His purpose. God has set a measure to all things.” Qur’an Chapter 65 / Verses 2-3
These verses remind me to always place my trust in God, no matter how hard things get. I’ve had lots of ups and downs in my life in terms of mental health. During my downs, I remember this verse and it motivates me to keep hope in the future, and to keep hope in myself. It reminds me of the power of prayer, as God can turn any situation around. When we have faith in God, he will set things moving for us in ways that we can’t even imagine.
How would you like to be remembered?
I would like to be remembered as someone who was genuine and honest with everyone. I want to be thought of as some one who sincerely cared about others, and went out of their way to help people out.