Interview - Mustafa Tameez

Mustafa Tameez was born in Karachi, Pakistan in 1969 as the youngest son with two elder siblings. He moved to the United States in 1978 with his family, who sold all their belongings back home to move to Queens, New York, to an area where he described as a very rundown neighborhood. The family of five lived in a one-bedroom apartment less than 600 square feet with a shared bathroom. In the first few months, he struggled with English, fitting into school, and with an undiscovered until later, eyesight issue, having been “babysat” by television as a “latchkey kid,” as his parents worked multiple jobs to keep the family afloat. Through a very rough public education system however, he learned to keep fighting and be resilient. And with his parents’ sacrifice, and extended family’s support both physically and mentally, unlike many of his peers in school (he joked about “a high school reunion” might “need some parole officers”), he was aware that he immigrated to the US to succeed and has strived for that expectation, a strong motivation behind which making him who he is today.

Tameez attended Baruch College as an accounting major, in which he struggled with an undiagnosed dyslexia until much later in his adult life. After a short-lived career in payroll, Tameez was doing well in an advertisement company and moved to Houston in 1994 with the company. He met his wife and got married after a year and has stayed in Houston ever since. In 1999, his parents moved to Houston with him.

After transitioning away from advertising, Tameez became involved in political outreach and is now the president of Outreach Strategies, LLC. He worked with many local political figures in their campaigns such as Bill White, Lee Brown, and as Delegate for President Obama’s Muslim Entrepreneurial Summit in 2011 and 2010. Tameez seeks to engage more Asian-Americans in civics and encourage more people to be active members of government. He is actively involved in Asia Society, Transportation Advocacy Group, Texas Lyceum, and Unity National Bank, to name a few. He writes as a columnist for Houston Chronicle and Texas Tribune. Tameez is spiritual in faith as a Muslim. He and his wife have three children. He is optimistic for the future generation, both as an optimist and as a realist, who has studied and analyzed the upcoming generation through facts.

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