Muslims of America is a series curated and created by Carlos Khalil Guzman.

Fida Hurlock is a first generation Palestinian-American Muslim. After being in Michigan, her family moved around the United States, finally settling in Oregon. Currently Fida is finishing her degree in Human and Family Services and Public Health. When Fida isn’t chasing around her 3 children or rescuing injured animals with her husband Jim, she enjoys crafting in all mediums, cleaning, exercising, acting and modeling. “I want to do it all.”

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned in life?

I’ve learned to be true to yourself.  Growing up in America with a rich Middle Eastern culture I grew up confused. It was hard to know who or how to be. It took years to figure myself out. Eventually I learned hiding myself to please others wasn’t right.


What is your earliest memory?

Actually I was just talking about this, I remember being very little,  so little I slept in a crib. I must have been a few weeks old because this was one of the first apartments my parents rented while trying to find a safe neighborhood. I was in a plain room, nothing on the walls, a purple night-light and two very large stuffed animals. It was the middle of the night and I woke up. I saw my feet, looked around, saw I was alone, saw the stuffed animals, than I looked at my night-light and started seeing red and blue spots, which frightened me. So I started crying and my mom came in very tired to comfort me.

What’s the meaning behind the verses you picked for the project? “In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. [All] praise is [due] to Allah, Lord of the worlds. The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Sovereign of the Day of Recompense. It is You we worship and You we ask for help. Guide us to the straight path. The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray. – Qur’an Chapter 1/ Verses 1-7”

I chose the verses from the first chapter (Al-Fatiha) of the Qur’an. These verses remind me of my childhood. My sisters and I would all gather together and we would recite it together or one by one. We were so proud of ourselves when we memorized it and we could see our parents were proud of us too. This surah (chapter) is the first in the Qur’an and I have always said it in times of fear, when I would think a ghost was in the room or if I was walking home late. I knew Allah (God) was watching and helping me. These words are powerful and they have helped me feel and be protected.

You can see the project as it unfolds by following me on Instagram:carloskhalilguzman and Twitter:ckhalilguzman

Posted by:Carlos Khalil Guzman

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