A Pakistani-American Family Is Caught in Some Cultural Cross-Fire

From The New York Times:

Domestic2650 For Khulsoom and Salman, hard-working immigrant Muslims from Pakistan, life in the American suburbs in the post- 9/11 era is not working out the way they had planned. Their oldest son is an unmarried playboy, and their daughter has become a student activist who wears a head scarf as a sign of her newfound religious fervor and is dating a devoted Muslim who happens to be an African-American. And now their younger son, the good, obedient son, comes home on a college break and announces that he is abandoning premed courses to become a history teacher so that he can help correct the misinformation being spread about Islam.

“You will get the blessings of my work,” the younger son tells his parents.

“We have enough blessings,” his mother says. “You can bless us by becoming a surgeon. You like kids? Become a pediatrician. Teach them Islam as you give them their lollipops.”

This family is at the center of “The Domestic Crusaders,” an envelope-pushing play that opens on 9/11 at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe and runs for the next five weekends. When the family reunites for the younger son’s birthday, conflicts erupt over everything from biryani to sex roles to Middle Eastern politics to airport security checks to racism. The play was written by Wajahat Ali, a young Pakistani-American who grew up in Fremont, Calif. He started writing it in the weeks after the terrorist attacks as a paper for a college class taught by the poet and playwright Ishmael Reed. The actors, all South Asians, are playing roles that echo their own lives. Some will be performing while they are fasting for Ramadan.

More here.