Work With Passion, Serve With Love

Sophia Mela

CAIR PSA Video - Work With Passion, Serve With Love

Don’t be afraid to dream big, bigger than what other people have dreamed for you.

Sophia Mela has always followed her passion, wherever it led. When she was a girl, her mother worried that Sophia would forever be a tomboy.

As a child in Pakistan she defined herself by her interests rather than her gender, and she has done the same all her life.

She moved to the States as a teenager and graduated from the University of Houston with a bachelors degree in math and a masters degree in education. Math was a tough choice, she says. It was daunting, but she took up the challenge.

Today she is a flight instructor with the international space station program in Houston and is enthusiastic about her hobbies, which include video games, anime films and classic cars.

She also pursued her own path when it came to her practice of Islam. As a young adult she began to read independently about Islamic traditions. She began, she says, to “literally get rid of concerns about other people’s opinions.” Instead, she made her own choices. For example, she adopted a wardrobe that was modern and also met Islamic requirements for modesty.

It’s a habit that came in handy when she took up a new hobby – snowboarding.

And when summer comes and she moves on to her next new endeavor – surfing – she’ll be on the lookout again for a modest outfit that will allow her to face the waves, as with everything else, on her own terms.