Photo: Webb Chappell for The Boston Globe
Balancing our family and American lives was stressful. As a junior, I played point guard on Cambridge Rindge and Latin School’s famed basketball team, and Jahar, a senior, was the wrestling team’s co-captain. During the fierce month of Ramadan or on the fast day before Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, we might endure grueling sports workouts on empty stomachs and no water. At least we could complain to each other.
Maintaining separate Muslim and American lives sometimes meant keeping secrets from and even lying to those closest to us about our other life. We were shamed just for being Muslim by strangers, the media, and even some of our peers, just as our Muslim families shamed us when we were caught committing a sin. Jahar and I shared countless hours toking herb, hanging out, and hitting social events. We lived near each other, and often walked home together from parties. We’d hit Cambridge Street, dap each other up with a handclap and bro hug, then head off to our Muslim lives.