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Old 04-09-2008, 11:12 AM
 
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Hi, we're a young Muslim family (Middle eastern) living in Toronto (the most multicultural city in the world where 100 languages are spoken). I am considering to move for work near ASU Mesa, and I am actually looking forward to it. But I have a couple of questions (a) I am a little concerned for my family, my wife wears a head scarf to cover her hair (she is more of a practicing muslim than I am). Do you think this will be a problem or make people stare and make us uncomfortable? (b) Will my school-aged children notice anything different than Toronto schools -- equal treatment, etc? and (c) I am considering living in "Gilbert" or do you think there is a better area (30 minute commute would be fine)? Thank you.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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Tempe perhaps? Tempe has a mosque and a sizable Muslim community. If you were commuting from Tempe to ASU Polytechnic campus in Mesa, it would be a long drive, but you'd have a reverse commute, going against traffic-- most people are driving from way out in Gilbert or east Mesa into Tempe, Chandler, Phoenix, or Scottsdale, not the other way around.
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Old 04-09-2008, 12:06 PM
 
Location: 5 miles from the center of the universe-The Superstition Mountains
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If living close to a mosque is important, vegaspilgrim's suggestion is very good. If not, there are many, many nice homes in Gilbert, Mesa and Higley within 15 minutes of ASU Polytech. I don't think you can go wrong with giving the east side of Gilbert serious consideration.
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Old 04-09-2008, 09:50 PM
 
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Thank you vegaspilgrim and aj661 for the suggestions. We do not really need to live near a mosque and I am certainly considering Gilbert. I have noticed that house prices in some areas such as Mesa and Queen Creek are cheaper than Gilbert, but I am impressed with what I have read about Gilbert's public schools being the *best*?? in the greater Phoenix area. Are there areas in Gilbert that are more multi-cultural than others?

P.S. I think the moderators should allow members to edit their posts; 90 minutes is not enough especially when you post something on the go. :-)
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Old 04-09-2008, 10:08 PM
 
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I have to interject and say that this area is anything but multicultural and the suburbs you're mentioning are even less so. Phoenix has long been described as culturally uninteresting. My intuition is screaming for you to reconsider coming here as I really don't think you'll like it. Toronto is a far better place to reside than Phoenix for people who value human interaction and an urban lifestyle. Phoenix is the exact opposite of the urban/urbane lifestyle even though we have more people. Instead of seeing people walking down the street and going in and out of cafes, you'll find people locked in their cars driving everywhere with only the assumed-to-be desperate out walking around. I think it would be a challenging adjustment for you.

Before any Phoenicians attack me, I live in Phoenix and I'm very pro-Phoenix since it meets my individual needs, but I do think you should reconsider. Have you visited? Everything may seem right on paper, but reality is often a different picture. I'm sorry to burst a bubble, but I had to give you my gut response.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:22 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
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I might be wrong here, but my impression is that Gilbert is a practically all-white community and half the population is Mormon (LDS church); I've never heard the words "diversity" and "Gilbert" in the same sentence! I know for fact there are small Asian, Indian/Pakistani, and Middle Eastern populations in Tempe, Chandler, and west Mesa, but once you get further east in the east valley the minority population seems to thin out.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Surprise, Az
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
I might be wrong here, but my impression is that Gilbert is a practically all-white community and half the population is Mormon (LDS church); I've never heard the words "diversity" and "Gilbert" in the same sentence!
Your not alone...I get the same impression. Gilbert is a nice area but it is far from diverse.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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I kinda agree with what mhouse said. I dont live in Phoenix but have been there many times and I think youre going to have a big adjustment coming from Toronto to Phoenix. To me, when my family and I are in the Phoenix area, we tend to see caucasian whites and hispanics and thats about it in terms of diversity. That certainly doesnt mean that other ethnicities dont exist, but they are just not as populated. For being one of the largest cities in America, Phoenix is still catching up on the whole ethnically-diverse thing and like I said before, I think youre going to have a pretty big adjustment coming from Toronto to Phoenix
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:38 AM
 
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In my experience I would not describe Gilbert as being very diverse ethnically or religiously. In fact, while most people are very friendly, I'd imagine that part of town would feel very weird for anyone moving in from a city like Toronto. Your family might make the transition more comfortably by starting out in a more diverse community like Tempe or East Phoenix, eg head scarves are not an uncommon sight, there are halal grocers, etc.

Last edited by Climacus; 04-10-2008 at 02:53 AM..
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Old 04-10-2008, 02:44 AM
 
Location: 5 miles from the center of the universe-The Superstition Mountains
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vegaspilgrim View Post
I might be wrong here, but my impression is that Gilbert is a practically all-white community and half the population is Mormon (LDS church); I've never heard the words "diversity" and "Gilbert" in the same sentence! I know for fact there are small Asian, Indian/Pakistani, and Middle Eastern populations in Tempe, Chandler, and west Mesa, but once you get further east in the east valley the minority population seems to thin out.
I think Gilbert is a great place to live-wish I was still there, BUT, you're right about the apparent lack of diversity. I didn't see much of it while I was there. In the east Mesa neighborhood where I live now, there is Caucasian, Black, Vietnamese, Latino, Filipino, eastern European-and that's all within five houses adjacent to one another.

On the other hand, you don't get instant diversity in any neighborhood. It usually arrives one household at a time. Besides, no matter where you live, people are going to judge you for one reason or another. We had next door neighbors who didn't talk to us for the three years after they found out I was a cop-they were friendly before that. Guess they "issues" with police. Oh well!

Welcomemax, just moving from Toronto to here is obviously going to be a big change. Do your homework and research it carefully. If you still want to move here, then please do it. Don't be scared off just because you think your family might not be accepted. Most people here are rapped up in their own little worlds anyway. If you end up with neighbors like I had that don't want to talk to you, so be it. It's their loss. Schools are a different story. Kids can be cruel little monsters but again, that happens everywhere.

Good luck with your decision.
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