Nina Moshefi: We had a donation into Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism, collaborated with commissioner's team to give out donation bags of nonperishable food items to the citizens of South Fulton and we actually went in with trucks full of, you know, nonperishable food bags and there you were. It turned out to be a beautiful, amazing day and we were able to all collaborate and give with love and much hope. And that's something that we have been talking about, yeah. 

Anna Moshefi: Yeah, and, you know, we know you're really busy, so we really appreciate you being here today.

Khadijhah Abdur-Rahman: Listen, I am so honored. You know, as I was coming here today — and I love you all like you all are my blood sisters, you know? But I said, think about how we came about, how this friendship, this sisterhood. You know, would I have met you all at any other time and space in my life? You know, we live in different ends of the county, and when would our paths have crossed? The one thing that brought us together is our love for community. And so I even think about my parents and their love of community. I don't know if I've shared this story with you all, but back, I think it was the early '70s, my parents had a grocery store on Bankhead, and the Nation of Islam, its first mosque, a temple of worship was on Bankhead. And often times, those turbulent times, the police would harass them. And my mother and father had an area in the back of the store that they would run and hide them. And so when the police would come through the parking lot and everything looking for these people, they couldn't find them, never knowing that my mother and father purposely hid them because they saw the good that they did. Now you fast forward, they've got all these children. Of the six children they have, two convert to Islam. Now, keep in mind, my parents were Christian, but they raised us to respect community, to be inclusive, to know that you cannot go to bed full and your neighbor's starving. Well, these are all tenets of Islam, and just to know that the story of me and who I am and how I came to be where at the hand of two God-fearing people who weren't Muslim, but they instill the tenets and the values in me that it was just a natural acceptance of being Muslim. And then I come across two wonderful people that understand where I am in my journey of service. And even though this is one that is elected, it's still service.

Anna Moshefi: It is.

Khadijhah Abdur-Rahman: So I see it as a really — it's very humbling for me because there is a God that decided, "Hey, I'm going to put these two wonderful people in your life." And I just think about how the journey my parents had and what they wanted for me. And here, 59 years later, I have these wonderful people who are so giving.

This story was produced locally for GPB by Chase McGee and recorded in partnership with StoryCorps Atlanta.