KUALA LUMPUR – Kareem Salama, the first American Muslim country music singer, says he never felt left out growing up in Ponca City, Oklahama.
“I am America born of Egyptian parentage, and raised in the rural town of Ponca City, Oklahama, and our town has no mosque and has only one more Muslim family living there, but the children learn Islamic traditions at home,” he told reporters here today.
The 37-year old singer said this during his performance at “Peacemaking-Journey between Cultures” programme at Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL) here yesterday.
The programme was organised by DBKL in collaboration with Lincoln Corner, Perpustakaan Kuala Lumpur and the Embassy of the United States.
Kareem said beside being a minority Muslim family in Ponca City, they had been well accepted by the residents there.
“I played outside. We have lots of friends and my mother talks to everyone and connects with the people, and she never acts as though there are differences between her and them,” he said
He said Americans did not care about your race, and they accepted you if you did well in the profession that you are involved in.
“American people treat Muslims well. Just like Malaysia, with different people, culture, and religion but they can still love, talk, work together,” he said.
Kareem will be leaving for Kota Bahru, Kelantan tomorrow to share his experience and careers tips with students there, before leaving for home on Saturday.
Kareem, who has released three albums titled Generous Peace (2006), This Life of Mine (2007) and City of Lights (2011), has two degrees, a chemical engineering degree from University of Oklahama and a law degree from Univerity of Iowa. – Bernama