My latest piece for the Daily Beast (full article here):
The timing of the death of Nancy Reagan just as Donald Trump’s ascendancy to the Republican nomination seems increasingly unstoppable, is particularly painful for one Muslim lady in Brooklyn, Farhana, and her family.
That is because Farhana is not the name she goes by; she goes by Nancy—a nickname her family gave her in 1990, a year after she was born, and the year her family moved to the U.S. from Bangladesh. It’s customary for Bengalis to give their children more English-sounding nicknames that family and friends will use throughout their lives.
Her name was given in honor of President Ronald Reagan, as his 1986 immigration act enabled Farhana’s family to join their father, who was already living in the U.S. Her uncle named his son, Nancy’s cousin, “Reagan,” for the same reason. And so in 1990 the Muslims “Nancy” and “Reagan” moved to Brooklyn.
Continue reading here.