I wouldn't really describe myself as a convert--it is more like I realized that this is where my life was headed all along I suppose that's why some people use the term revert. I just like to think that I finally realized what I have believed all the time.
I was born a Catholic and have always been very religious. After meeting a friend from Pakistan my first year in college I became interested in learning about Islam. I studied Islam and Arabic through the course of many classes, and eventually studied in Cairo for a semester.
It was not until then that I realized where my "interests" had led me.
At college, our professors had used an English translation of the Qur'an, as one would expect. My class in Cairo, then, was the first where I had a copy of the Qur'an with Arabic and English side by side. Reading the Arabic really changed something in my heart and made me realize that I was a Muslim.
I had always respected Islam and thought that it was very beautiful and felt that I had a connection with it, but it was not until reading al-Qur'an Al-Kareem that I knew what I needed to do.
I also loved being in a Muslim country where religion played such a central role in daily life--a far cry from the US.
I loved how literally everything went back to God in the constant references throughout conversation--whether it was al-hamdulillah after safely crossing the street or saying goodbye with a 'see you later, Insh'Allah' -- the role that God played in their lives had a deep impact on me.
When I finally decided that I could really do this--that there was no potential problem that could stop me from being a Muslim, I hurried to learn as much Qur'an as I needed to pray, and shukr Allah, I am celebrating my first Ramadan this year.
It has not always been easy, as I did not know what to say to many people at
first, but everyone I have told has been supportive, MashaAllah. I still have
not told my family because I really do not know how they will react but
Insh'Allah I will find a way to tell them very soon and they will understand.
Islam was calling to me for a long time but it took me almost three years to
realize it--al-hamdulillah I finally did.