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Old 03-24-2011, 11:58 AM
 
119 posts, read 174,479 times
Reputation: 36

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Hi all,

My family and I currently live in a big East Coast city, and we are tired of the hectic pace and the brutal winters. Aren't we all? Anyway, my wife and I have both visited Roanoke, and think it might be a good place to live due to its beautiful surroundings, outdoor activities, and the very warm people who live there.

One of our only points of hesitation: we are a Muslim family (not strict, but observant), and from reading some other posts here, it seems like it may be a bit iffy for a family of Muslims to prosper in Roanoke. Not because people are racist or anything - there is no evidence at all of that from what I've read online. It's more to do with the fact that there just aren't many Muslims living there. My wife and I have both lived in places where there weren't many Muslims before, but we have a little kiddo now, and we want our kid to not feel like a giant minority wherever we live.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I work as a writer/editor currently, so maybe someone who lives in Roanoke can also tell me if there's a call for anything remotely like this kind of work?

Thank you all in advance for your comments. Can we please keep comments constructive, by the way? I know there are all kinds of people who dislike Muslims for all kinds of reasons, but it would be great if we could keep politics/emotions out of this thread as much as possible. Thanks!!
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Old 03-24-2011, 04:10 PM
 
2,620 posts, read 1,415,571 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestCoastDreamer View Post
Does anyone have any thoughts on this? I work as a writer/editor currently, so maybe someone who lives in Roanoke can also tell me if there's a call for anything remotely like this kind of work?
Always have a job lined up and visit an area yourself before a long-distance move. Always.

As for being a Muslim here....you'll be in a very small minority, but that's going to be anywhere in the USA outside of a major city or Dearborn.

Is there a mosque here (I dont even know lol)? I'd give them a call for some first person observations.


Gotta ask though, why is a "West coast dreamer" living in an east coast city?
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Bedford County, Va.
261 posts, read 849,449 times
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Last summer, my wife and I hosted two Indonesian Muslim boys who were visiting the U.S. as part of a citizenship program. We live about 30 minutes outside of Roanoke in a very rural part of Bedford County.

I can't speak about the experience from their shoes (though there was more to factor in beyond religion, such as language and cultural differences), but all in all, the visit was a wonderful experience. I didn't feel like people were looking at me and the kids strangely, and I never felt one bit of hostility -- no matter whether we were in the city or the country, at a baseball game or a diner. We always found plenty to do and were well-received.

Dreamer, you're right in saying that there isn't a large Muslim community here. There's no way around that. But the leaders affiliated with the citizenship program live all around my area, and they are very happy to be where they are.

Not sure that helps, but if you like the area -- and think you can get work -- I encourage you to give it a shot!
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Old 03-25-2011, 06:47 AM
 
Location: Roanoke VA
2,032 posts, read 4,010,063 times
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Just curious, but why would you assume a Muslim family would have difficulty
living here in Roanoke over any other similar sized city in America? There are over 65 different nationalities represented here.
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Old 03-25-2011, 07:32 AM
j1n
 
Location: Southeast of the Northwest Territories
1,202 posts, read 2,873,157 times
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I don't see folks out on the streets of Roanoke wearing tshirts that say "Christian", "Muslim", "Buddhist", "Straight", "Gay", etc, etc.
I do see folks doing their thing... going to church, reading a Bible in a coffee shop, wearing mala beads, out walking with their significant other, etc, etc
My point is that most folks in most places just do what they do, and that there are a lot of different people doing a lot of different things. I think people tend to mind their business, and live and let live. I think Roanoke is basically just as diverse as most other places.
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Old 03-25-2011, 08:33 AM
 
119 posts, read 174,479 times
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Thanks for the great responses, everyone. Just as I thought, people in Roanoke are warm and helpful. Here are some of my reflections and responses to your helpful comments:

Kreutz, the reason I'm a west coast dreamer in an east coast city is...wait for it...family. Everyone and their mother (literally) in my family and in my wife's family are out this way. Now that we've established a family, we don't want to be too far afield from them. But I used to live out west, and it's amazing and I miss it a lot.

Roanoker 4, I meant no disrespect at all. I'm sure it would be equally challenging to live anywhere there's a small Muslim population (we have all kinds of different friends--in fact, most of our friends aren't Muslims, but many are--but in a big city like the one we live in, we don't stick out like sore thumbs because there are lots of Muslims around). Again, Roanoke seems like a very accepting place, my concern only lies with the low number of Muslims I've seen discussed online.

PaperTrail--thank you for sharing your experience. It makes me feel encouraged that the people of Roanoke are who I thought they were: laid-back and accepting and curious about other cultures.

J1N--point well taken. That was the vibe I got from the place when I visited: people doing their own thing.

Again, thanks everyone for your helpful comments. I think we'll have to visit Roanoke again to give it another look!
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Old 03-27-2011, 06:49 AM
 
469 posts, read 614,997 times
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PaperTrail, I'm so glad to hear of your positive experience with hosting, I assume it was with Legacy Intl? We have hosted before as well, although for adults, not kids. What a great organization!

WestCoastDreamer, as others have said, you would be in a minority to be sure but I have found Roanoke to be pretty open and welcoming to my nontraditional, nonreligious family. You might want to look into Local Colors, an organization celebrating diversity in Roanoke. They may have some statistics/connections for you so you can talk with local Muslims about their experiences here.
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Old 03-27-2011, 07:00 AM
 
Location: Bedford County, Va.
261 posts, read 849,449 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by headnsouth View Post
PaperTrail, I'm so glad to hear of your positive experience with hosting, I assume it was with Legacy Intl? We have hosted before as well, although for adults, not kids. What a great organization!
Yup, it was with Legacy! Last year was the first year we ever did that, and we're planning on hosting again this summer. A very rewarding experience!
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:06 PM
 
21 posts, read 30,548 times
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Hi Westcoat,

There are mosques in the area, including the Masjid An Nur Islamic Center, and there certainly are some Muslim people in and around Roanoke. There are a few small Middle Eastern stores, and I've purchased meat several times from a Halal butcher in Blacksburg.
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Old 04-05-2011, 04:57 PM
 
Location: Bedford County, Va.
261 posts, read 849,449 times
Reputation: 126
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony in Roanoke View Post
Hi Westcoat,

There are mosques in the area, including the Masjid An Nur Islamic Center, and there certainly are some Muslim people in and around Roanoke. There are a few small Middle Eastern stores, and I've purchased meat several times from a Halal butcher in Blacksburg.
Good point on mentioning the Halal stores! There are two on Williamson Road in Roanoke that I've shopped at before.
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