Muhammedzen and Safiya Abdullah // Everett
They moved from Vietnam to Malaysia, were imprisoned in a work camp, and then moved to New York 25 years ago and finally to Everett. Married 52 years, they speak little English, yet they have children and grandchildren who are by all measures Americanized. ''When you are born Muslim, we are all about peace. It's one of the most peaceful religions out there,'' Safiyah Abdullah tells me through a translator. ''We're not about fighting, we're not about that even in relationships. Practicing together brings peace to our relationship. When we get into arguments, we pray, and that brings us back to peace. When you learn to pray, you learn that every religion is good. You pray you don't fight. People who fight are crazy. If you are not practicing a religion, just being a good person is already practicing something. That's your own religion, and everyone has a god in them.''
audio: Click the play button below to listen to Muhammedzen and Safiya Abdullah.