My American story started when M*A*S*H was the most popular show on TV. When someone lit up Debby Boone's life. When Bicentennial coins came out and Elvis left the building. These aren't my first memories, but they are the ones from which began to spring my American identity. I'm a daughter of the Kansas prairie - raised on horseshoe games, Rock Chalk chants, and church potlucks. Those potlucks turned into mosque iftars, as I converted to Islam at 22. I took my Kansas values to Syria, and was greeted by similar ones there. People there were shocked to see that Americans are as hospitable and open as they are. Now I'm showing shocked Kansans that Muslims are as down-to-earth as they are. It's so sad, that shock. I wish I could bring each culture to the other. Both deserve to be truly seen.