Salaam Magazine The 1st Islamic Children’s
Magazine in the USA
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BY Salaam Magazine


Salaam Friends,

There are many amazing Muslims with amazing careers in our community. Anisa Diab is a mental health counselor. Although physical health is very important, monitoring your mental health is just as necessary. I talked to Anisa Diab about her personal lifestyle and her job. Let’s see how it went!

Salaam Sister Anisa, 

Can you introduce yourself to our friends? Who is Anisa Diab?

Waalaikum Salaam. I would describe myself as a very proud Muslim American. I am a Muslim mental health counselor, a speaker; and a mother, wife, daughter, and sister. I am humbled in whatever opportunity I am given to make a difference in someone else’s life.

Being in a minority group can be difficult, and sometimes we want to ignore our religion in the presence of other people. How do you think we should handle feelings like this?

I notice this a lot with young Muslims. Kids and teens usually want to assimilate and fit in, but this can be difficult when there are certain things our faith teaches us that are different from a typical teenager lifestyle. A person having to choose between religion and “fitting in” may feel awkward, and it can be very lonely to decide that you want to put your faith above everything else. 

However, you can certainly do both and be proud of both. You must be confident when you choose to stand out. Choosing to not follow the crowd, and to follow your beliefs instead will gain you a lot of respect from those around you.

Do you find any difference between young Muslims who grew up in the U.S. compared to those who have grown up in Muslim countries?

Yes. There is a big difference. Something I see a lot in Muslim American teens that I don’t see as much in those who grew up outside the U.S. is an identity crisis on a spiritual and cultural level. This is especially the case when the parents are immigrants. When I am counseling teenagers with parents that come from another country, I realize that there is a lot of tension and confusion caused by the conflicting expectations from the different cultures.

What do you recommend to our readers who want to be a psychologist or mental health counselor? 

Anyone who wants to be a mental health professional should:

  1. Study hard in school

  2. Have experience with being counseled prior to studying counseling. 

It's important to work through your own mental health concerns before being able to help others. It will also help you decide if this is a career you want to pursue. 

Vector psychotherapy session concept with adult woman mental therapist, psychiatrist asking questions, listening to tired female character with health problem, crying sitting at armchair

What is the best part of your job?


The most unforgettable moments I experience with my clients are when they tell me that working with me has helped them heal, transform their life, and given them hope to keep going. Getting this feedback makes me feel that I am making a difference in someone's life. 

Are there any helpful games or activities we could do when we are angry or upset and need to calm down?

A great game to help you become more mindful and experience a sense of calm is to do the following with a friend or family member: 

Take 5 to Calm Down Game

5.  Take 5 deep breaths

4. Name 4 people who care about you

3. Name 3 things that make you smile

2. Take 2 more deep breaths

1. Share one Happy Memory

Eid al-Adha is coming! How was Eid for you as a child?

Eid for me when I was growing up was very simple. We would go to the local masjid and eat together, and then go home afterwards. I didn’t have a lot of knowledge about Eid and why we did what we did when I was younger, but I developed an understanding as I grew up. Now, I decorate the house and invite neighbors over when it is Eid so my daughter can grow up associating Eid with positivity.

To finish off our interview, what would you like to say to our readers?

My advice is to accept that you’re going to stand out and be proud of who you are! When you put your faith and trust in Allah (swt), he opens up doors you can never imagine!

Thank you very much sister Anisa. It was great to meet you.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity. 

You can access the full interview online on Salaam Magazine YouTube channel!