Two immigrants have collaborated to blend personal and professional views in this short summary of key issues which affect the lives of Muslim immigrants in America today. “In Search of a Base” offers a clear overview of what is faced by Muslim individuals and families who have emigrated to America during the past decades and now make the USA their permanent residence. It seeks to identify major factors which affect their ability to adapt to life in the United States, to adjust to their new environment and to ...
Two immigrants have collaborated to blend personal and professional views in this short summary of key issues which affect the lives of Muslim immigrants in America today. “In Search of a Base” offers a clear overview of what is faced by Muslim individuals and families who have emigrated to America during the past decades and now make the USA their permanent residence. It seeks to identify major factors which affect their ability to adapt to life in the United States, to adjust to their new environment and to assimilate. How should they balance assimilation with ethnic and cultural diversity? What is the impact of past experiences, traditions, customs, culture, education and religion on their day-to-day lives in their new environment? How important is the immigrant’s age, sex, race, ethnicity and language in the effort to adapt and “fit in”? Using his very relevant personal experiences and professional training as a practicing board certified psychiatrist, Dr. Fawaz postulates that in this post-9/11 era all recent Muslim immigrants to the United States have a common quest: the search for a base. Most have already found such a base almost as a direct consequence of having made the decision to emigrate from their native countries, to come live in America. Others are still searching. Finally, in their “search for a base,” a few others – especially among the younger immigrants – are strongly influenced by a multitude of complex factors, including the global reach of the internet.
The thoughts and contents of "In Search of a Base: Healing Fractured Relationships" began as a series of conversations by two American citizens who many decades ago began their lives in the United States as young immigrants. It evolved over the past year into a closer analysis of the history of immigration in America, particularly of the wave of recent Muslim immigrants from every corner of the world. The impact of 9/11 on all Americans -- including Muslim American immigrants -- prompted Dr. Jamal Fawaz to summarize his thoughts and observations related to the decade following September, 2001, and to synthesize from his own experience as an individual immigrant as well as a board-certified psychiatrist key issues related to adaptation, assimilation, polarization, and healing.
Both authors lived in their countries of birth during early portions of their childhood and moved as adolescents to another continent where they were surrounded by completely new and different environments. Ultimately, both emigrated to the United States at a determining age: Jamal Fawaz, M.D., first as a student at the age of 18 and later, as an immigrant, when he was 31; and Peter Janos Kurz, as a 15-year-old student. Both learned their mother tongues at home, and -- before reaching the age of 21 -- added two more in one case and four in the other. One of the authors was first introduced to English after having been exposed earlier to six other languages; Dr. Fawaz learned English as his second language. Between them they are now fluent and comfortable in seven and have dabbled in many more. Both are American citizens and live with their families in the United States. Each has also lived more than two years in six different countries. Between them they have visited more than 120 countries for shorter stays related to work, study or tourism.
Dr. Jamal Fawaz is a psychiatrist in private practice as well as, since 1997, on the medical staff of a hospital in the United States. Dr. Fawaz is a diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in both general psychiatry and addiction psychiatry. He completed his internship and residency in psychiatry at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, where he also served as chief resident. He subsequently completed a fellowship in addiction psychiatry. His practice includes inpatient and outpatient psychiatric treatment of adult patients. He is a member of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Medical Association.
He received his medical degree from Spartan Health Services University, West Indies. Dr. Fawaz also received his bachelor's degree in physiology and psychology from Southern Illinois University. Special interests include anxiety, depression, mood disorders, panic disorders, and psycho-pharmacology.
Dr. Fawaz has given over 700 presentations on various topics including post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia, pain and addiction, depression, generalized anxiety disorders, social anxiety disorders, panic disorder, sleep disorders, dementia, alcohol dependency, nicotine dependency, and addiction.