Oral History Interview with Mostafa Aboutaleb on October 10, 2020


Oral History Interview with Mostafa Aboutaleb on October 10, 2020



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Aboutaleb, Mostafa


Cook, Ayesha; Perkins, Dr. Alisa (Research Director)


Oral history interview with Mostafa Aboutaleb conducted by Ayesha Cook on October 10, 2020. Interview written by Dr. Alisa Perkins and Ayesha Cook. Mostafa Aboutaleb was born in Farmington Hills, Michigan, on November 26, 1985, and raised in Dearborn and Detroit. His father grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and his mother was born in Lebanon. Aboutaleb grew up attending mosques throughout the metro Detroit area, including the American Moslem Society (AMS) in Dearborn and the Islamic Center of Detroit. He attended weekend Islamic school at AMS, where he studied the Qur’an and Arabic language. Aboutaleb graduated from Renaissance High School, and went on to attend the University of Michigan-Dearborn for his undergraduate degree in biochemistry, and Wayne State University for his graduate degrees in biochemistry and pharmacy. Aboutaleb currently works as a pharmacist. In his early adulthood, Aboutaleb began attending the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center. In 2019, he moved to the neighborhood around the Muslim Center to be closer to the mosque and to be an active resident of the Dream of Detroit community situated there. In the interview, Aboutaleb discusses growing up in the Detroit metro area, his journey to becoming a pharmacist, and his commitments to volunteerism, social justice, and community development. He reflects on the impact of the Muslim Center and Dream of Detroit on his neighborhood, describing Dream of Detroit’s work to promote a vibrant and diverse community, foster housing rehabilitation, and address the underlying causes of systemic racism.

Date of Interview


Location of Interview

Detroit, MI (Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center)


Academia, Accessibility, African-American history, African-American Muslims, Al-Farqan Institute, American Moslem Society, Ann Arbor Trail Middle School, Arab-Americans, Arabic language education, Baltimore, Biochemistry, Biology, Blight Busters, Cairo, Camping, Canada, Career path, Cass Mosque, Catholic school, Chemistry, Chicago, Christians, Chrysler, Corporation, Community building, Community college, COVID-19 pandemic, Mark Crain, Dar Al-Rahma, Dearborn, Detroit, Detroit Public Schools, Diversity, Dream of Detroit, Egypt, England, Farmington Hills, Focus Hope, Ford Motor Company, Free medical clinic, Gardner Elementary School, Gleaners Community Food Bank, Graduate school, Greening of Detroit, Habitat for Humanity, Halal food, Health Unit of Davison, HUDA Clinic, Immigration, Indus Community Action Network (ICAN), Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Institutional racism, Interfaith relations, Intergenerational relations, International travel, Islam, Islam in America, Islamic Center of Detroit (ICD), Islamic weekend school, Jewish Americans, Imam Saleem Khalid, Lebanon, Logistics Committee, London, Maryland, MAS Qur'an Institute, MAS Tarbiya Program, Masjid Dearborn, Mechanical engineering, Michigan, Midtown Detroit, Mosque, Multi-ethnic community, Muslim Americans, Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center, Muslim Students Association (MSA), Muslims, Neighborhood cleanup, Neighborhood revitalization, Neighborly Needs, New York, Pharmacist, Pharmacy, Pharmacy school, Qur'an education, Religious community, Renaissance High School, Social justice, University Islamic Center of Detroit, University of Michigan Dearborn, Urban garden, Volunteerism, Warrendale, Wayne State University, Work-life balance, Shaykh AbdulKarim Yayha


African American Studies | Africana Studies | American Studies | Civic and Community Engagement | Digital Humanities | Inequality and Stratification | Islamic Studies | Nonprofit Administration and Management | Politics and Social Change | Religion | Urban Studies and Planning


Interview conducted by Ayesha Cook at the Muslim Center Mosque and Community Center. Interview written by Dr. Alisa Perkins (Research Director) and Ayesha Cook. Interview recorded under the direction of Supervising Producer Malikah Shabazz. Videography by Samayyah Cook. Video Edited by: Mandy Weiss. Transcribed by: Zarin Farook and Dr. Alisa Perkins. Transcription edited by: Dr. Alisa Perkins. Metadata prepared by: Hannah Cole. Metadata edited by: Dr. Alisa Perkins and Sophia Wimberley.



Document Type


Rights Statement

Dream of Detroit Interviews were made possible by funding from the Pillars Grant and Whiting Foundation. Content is for educational purposes only and non-reproducible; interviews are not to be duplicated, but may be linked through ScholarWorks with appropriate attribution. Please direct any questions about copyright to scholarworks@wmich.edu.


Pillars Fund and Whiting Foundation


Dream of Detroit

Length of Video


Oral History Interview with Mostafa Aboutaleb on October 10, 2020