Zulfikar E.

As Interviewed by Norah H., April 1, 2019

Zulfikar E: In His Own Words

My name is Zulfikar, I was born in Kenya, East Africa, and I've been many things but educationally I a physician, and I’m also a businessman. I’ve been treated differently in a way that when you apply for schools, people interview you and look at you differently, when you go to classes those that are of color try and stay together. If the others or Caucasians try to join up with you, it’s because they think that you’re of a lower class.

By bosses I feel that I have been treated differently, they start you at a lower level, and you don’t make much progress, but this isn’t only in this country.

At my school in Kenya, I had friends because I was in sports the sports gear as much better at the Caucasian school, and we had none, you had to get your own. I was a miler, and I used to run miles. I was the second best miler in my school, after he ran a mile and came out first, the applause was different, the sports teacher treated him differently, he wasn’t considered a hero, the school didn’t consider him to be at the top of his field There were others who didn’t do as well, and they would do okay, and they were considered heroes. I came here in the 70’s so things were getting better, but still there’s a lot of difference between going to schools because if you live in a nicer neighborhood, teachers are able to pay more attention, classrooms are smaller, things of that nature. Color doesn’t have anything to do with if someone’s gonna be violent, or is a criminal, or is a nice person. People are people if you treat them fairly, you’ll be quite okay.

What inspires me is when there is any type of catastrophe, natural or otherwise in this country, that everybody comes together whether they are black or white. I have white neighbors and many a time, they come and they just want to help me, and whenever they are in trouble I’m out there helping them without thinking about anything just thinking they’re human beings, and they think of me as a human being, and that makes me feel good inside, really good.