Can We Talk? A Muslim Scientist’s Perspective

Saba Husain and Bulldog - cropToday’s guest post comes from Saba Husain, an advisor on our Open Innovation Drug Discovery team. She is a Butler University graduate (Go Bulldogs!) who joined Lilly in 1999 and has enjoyed diverse careers in Lilly Research Laboratories. Saba has two children and a cat, and she likes engaging in community, cultural and educational activities. Lilly recently hosted a “Can We Talk?” themed panel event in which Lilly and non-Lilly individuals conversed about Middle Eastern cultures, religions, points of view and more.

Who am I? A Muslim, an American and an Asian? A daughter, a mother and a wife? A scientist, a good neighbor, a community member and a Hoosier? The truth is I’m all of those things. Each one of them helps define me, makes me who I am and gives me a sense of purpose and belonging.

As a mother, I wish the same for all children  ̶  safety, education, friends, family and happiness. My aspirations for my own children are very typical; I want them to give back to their community and country, to be good ambassadors of their faith and culture and to be authentic in their personal spheres.

As a Muslim, I wish to understand as much as I wish to be understood. My faith, like any other faith, is rooted in the desire to do well for humanity. As recent and ongoing headlines show, some people have sought to hijack my faith and have twisted that ideal.

At times, I feel the need to justify my background and beliefs. And yet I know that we all share more similarities than differences. My heart aches for all who are victims of terrorist attacks, whether directly or indirectly. My loved ones and I are also at risk of being victims of such vile attacks – but it is only by working together, not through divisiveness, that can we defeat such heinous ideology.

As an American, I’m grateful for and enriched by a country that has given me so much. My allegiance to that should not be a question mark because of my faith or my ethnicity. My background allows me to bring a diverse perspective to my community and workplace. Diversity adds to the “quilt” that is America  ̶  different people, different faiths, different colors sewn together to create new ideas and opportunities that make life better for our children, aging parents, neighbors, friends and our country at large.

Regardless of how we look or what we wear, what we believe or how we pray, we can join hands in our efforts to make society better and leave a lasting legacy for our children and many generations to come!


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