“Chaldean American and Suspected” story transcript
Emily Gilmer: Hi, my name is Emily. Thank you so much for tuning in to this podcast. Now, today I will be interviewing fellow classmate Allan Bush, whose entire mother’s side of the family had immigrated [sic!] from Iraq. Hi Allan, how are you?
Allan Bush: Hi Emily, I’m doing okay, how about you?
EG: I’m doing pretty good. Now, just getting right into it, would you say you’ve been raised differently or with different values because of your mother – than other people who may have not had any immigrant parents?
AB: Oh, easily. I can easily say, without, like, any doubt in my mind that I’ve been raised differently from, like, you, or my friends, or anyone else, just because I have both the American culture from my dad and the Chaldean culture from my mom – who was born in Iraq, so she obviously grew up with the culture and then brought it over with her.
It’s even evident with my siblings – ’cause I’m the black sheep of the siblings. So, there’s me and my three siblings. I’m the one that has been raised with the American culture, and the other three have been raised with a very heavy emphasis on the Chaldean culture, so, in a sense, I get to see it from two different angles. I get to see it from myself and I get to see it from my siblings, and see how they’ve, like, been raised differently, and how I even have been [raised].
EG: All right. Would you say – especially with, like, a lot of the negative connotations that sometimes go around with anyone who’s from [a] Middle Eastern culture – would you say that specifically has affected your family as well?
AB: Yeah, I can easily say that, as well. The most notable experience that I can recall is 9/11, as much as a touchy subject that is. When that happened, I was the only child at the time. So, I kinda was just around my parents at all times, and when it happened – my mom’s not, you know, associated with the Muslim religion or anyone from Taliban, of course – but, being Middle Eastern put that connotation on her that she might be a terrorist.
And so, you know, anytime she’d speak her language with her sister or anyone else in the family… It was, like, a constant, like, struggle of, like, cops being called to that apartment, cops being, like, interrogating my family and being, like, “What the heck’s going on? We don’t want to, like, arrest anyone, cause we don’t have any proof.” It was just… it was tough, because I got to see my mom being actually discriminated against just because she was speaking her own language during a very touchy time, just because of the whole boom of, “Oh my God, terrorism.”
EG: Yeah. Well, Allan, thank you so much for sharing everything and coming on to my podcast, and thanks everyone for listening in on this. If you want to learn more about Allan’s story, you’re welcome to go on over to my website. Other than that, I hope you all have a great day.