Unit II Scholarly Activity
SOC 2010, Cultural Geography
Columbia Southern University
Unit II Scholarly Activity
For this essay I interviewed on of my many work associates. His name is Aly Nour-Eldin, he is currently twenty-six years old. I first meet Aly two years ago at a work function that we were both attending. We are both in the military and stationed at the same base. I decided to interview Aly for a few reasons. Firstly, he is a very personable individual and willing to help a friend when needed. Secondly, I was curious about his background and history. Lastly, when thinking of a person whose background and culture differ from my own he instantaneously popped into my mind. He has been in the military for five years and currently working as a material management journeyman. He is in the process of retraining into a combat-oriented career field because as he stated he wants to do more for his country. Aly was born in Maadi, Egypt and lived there until he was 15 years old. He has 3 siblings one full blood brother and two half-blood brothers. I will discuss more about Aly in the following paragraph titled interview summary. This interview was conducted face-to-face in my office over our lunch hour.
I learned multiple things about Aly during the interview. I learned about his life prior to coming to the United States, his experiences with transitioning to life in the United States as a teen, his family, and his passion for his religion. Aly lived in Maadi Egypt until 2006 and moved to the US because his mother had a job opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. Once she was settled here she sent for her two sons because she wanted them to get a better education. He explained that prior to coming to moving here he did not speak or read English, his first language is Arabic and he continues to speak it with his family every day but also learned both French and English when he moved to America. He stated that prior to moving to America he would spend his mornings with his father and brothers and that he remembered waking up every day and running to the local market to pick up fresh bread and beans for breakfast. When he got here he had trouble adjusting to the time changes in Egypt meals are eaten at later times and it was one of the more difficult thing for him to adjust to. Breakfast was eaten from 0900-1000, lunch around 1300-1400, and dinner between 2000-2100 whereas here in the US we eat our meals at 0600-0700, 1100-1200, and 1700-1800 respectively. Aly explained that he and his family has tried to leave cultural norms from Egypt behind and have fully assimilated to American cultures in every way possible. The one thing that he maintains is his religion which is Muslim. He is currently practicing Ramadan.
Culture and Geography
One thing that stood out to me during my interview with Aly which is common to the Arabic culture is him being a Muslim. He explained to me how he still celebrates certian holidays like Ramadan and Eid al-fitr. Ramadan is a month-long holiday that is observed by all Muslims world-wide. Eid al-fitr is the last part of Ramadan and it is a three-day feasting event that marks the end of the month long fasting.
For me this interview went very well. It did not seem awkward or stressful. It was conversational and easy going. I would ask a question and Aly would go in depth on the topics. It was only supposed to last fifteen to twenty minutes but went on for about fifty minutes. We talked about so many topics and subjects that I feel like I have learned so much about not just him but his culture and religion. I have known what Ramadan was for a few years but until this interview I did not know many of the intricate details that I now find so interesting. I now want to do more research into the Muslim religion to better understand it. This interview was a very good project that has opened my eyes and enticed me to learn more about different cultures.
Click following link to download this document
SOC 2010 Unit II Scholarly Activity.docx