My name is Nadia Bazzy, and I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist…I’m passionate about people living to their fullest potential, healing wounds, and transforming relationships.
Who are you?
My name is Nadia Bazzy, and I’m a Marriage and Family Therapist.
My family roots in the United States dates back to 1895. I am a third generation, American Muslim with Lebanese and Syrian heritage. One story that people may already know about me is my hijab story. A conversation I had with my father over our kitchen table was featured in a documentary called, Muhammad Legacy of a Prophet in 2001. Like many father daughter conversations, it was one of love and concern. I wanted to wear hijab, and my father was worried that the narrative others held of women in hijab would create challenges and discrimination in my life. I stuck to my beliefs and walked back into my all girls’ Catholic high school the start of junior year in hijab.
I entered college with a romanticized idea of what it meant to be a part of a community. I thought that differences of opinion were simply different….and not competing. I never took into account how emotions and intellect can intersect. Needless to say, I struggled in undergrad as I witnessed competing ideas of what it meant to be Muslim. The campus tension between Sunni and Shia, halal and haram, liberal, moderate, and conservative, was something that I was confused by and I ultimately internalized it in an unhealthy way.
I moved from Michigan to Virginia at 22 to pursue my first love, peace. I entered grad school as the youngest of the cohort and the only American Muslim to pursue a M.A. in Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding. I don’t think it was an accident that I fell in love with trauma healing and saw it as a calling through my studies. In many ways I was healing my own hurts and transforming. I finished with a concentration in psychosocial recovery and realized that interpersonal change starts from within. This led me to seek out a postgraduate education in Marriage and Family Therapy. I now have a private practice called, Family and Couple Therapy Center LLC, better known as, FACT Center. I’m passionate about people living to their fullest potential, healing wounds, and transforming relationships.
Give us your favorite quote and tell us why it means so much to you:
“I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.”
―Clarissa Pinkola Estes
This quote means so much to me because it’s a calling to not be afraid of life, and to nurture all events and moments. I believe that there is danger in passivity and this is a call to not function from a place of fear, but rather, a place of love for ourselves…to the point where something wondrous like growth will occur in us.
What Ayah of the Quran do you hold close to your heart? Why?
[55.13] Which then of the bounties of your Lord will you deny?
This is my favorite verse because it is a question posed by Allah (swt) to anyone who is willing to reflect on the bounties of life. It is asked several times within the chapter and I find it to be so amazing, because it does three things for me personally: 1) It shows interaction between Allah(swt) and humankind through questions 2) It invites reflection and forces us to survey the mentioned bounties 3)It does not tell human kind what to think, it invites humankind to an elevated level of thought and gratitude to Allah (swt)
What Hadith do you wish more non-Muslims knew about? Why?
“None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself”
We all deserve to live a safe healthy life, I love this hadith because it invites people around a concept of purifying their intentions and loving their brothers and sisters in humanity.
1. What is your favorite book?
Pride and prejudice
2. Who inspires/inspired you?
My father inspires me. He is the most ethical and truthful human being I know.
3. What is the best lesson your mother/mother figure taught you?
There are so many! Her presence is a lesson of grace. She continues to teach me to always stand up for an injustice and that I have a voice.
4. What advice would you give your 13 year old self?
I would advise myself to absorb life and create vivid memories.
5. What are your hopes for your daughter(s)?
I hope my daughters define themselves with a mission-oriented life that puts Allah first. I hope that they learn beauty can not be purchased in a bottle and that if they choose hijab they own it and see it as a concept they are adding complexity to and enhancing by wearing it, not something that is happening to them. I hope that they will learn to listen to their inner voice, and nurture their intuition to formulate the best of yaqeen (certainty).
6. What is the biggest trial you went through in your life and how has that changed you?
Since I still have life, I’m not sure if I have lived out my biggest trial yet. Working through anxiety, depression, and extreme weight loss for a short period of time at 19 was a challenge that made me stronger, more self aware, and enhanced my ability to handle any situation.
7. Any regrets? What’s something that you wish you’d thought about more before you did it?
No regrets. But I do wish I would put in more time for self-care during my day. It’s a work in progress.
8. How do you stay grounded in your work and/or spiritually grounded?
The best way to stay grounded is to plant deep roots. My faith, my family, friends, are the foundation of those roots. I have learned to keep work at work and create my safe space for relaxation at home. I have learned to stay grounded I need to be around people who are stable. In terms of staying spiritually grounded, I always try to examine my beliefs against my practice.
9. How do you bring about real change?
I believe real change starts with the most honest of evaluations. As I learned in grad school, every way of seeing is a way of not seeing. In terms of communal change, I believe it happens at the intersection of grassroots efforts and civil society.
10. What do you hope to be remembered for?
As someone who had balance in life and never felt threatened by a difference because my worldview was most comfortable in complexity not competition. I hope that I would be remembered as someone who was there when healing was happening in others and for my radical beliefs about peace.
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