Marriage Education (ME) is touching the lives of couples, families and children across the country. “I Am ME” profiles people teaching relationship, fatherhood and marriage education classes in their local communities.
“PAIRS has shown me how to be more open, accepting and appreciative
of myself and my teens as we chart our own unique paths and forge
our own unique identities.”
A revert to Islam since 1986, Susan Smith, M.S. Education, is the founder of Muslim Family Matters, a family and divorce mediation company serving the South Florida Muslim community. She is the former principal of an Islamic school with a background in conflict resolution, social work, advocacy, education, writing, interfaith activities and United Nations peacekeeping.
Susan Smith will be hosting a PAIRS Essentials Class at the Darul Uloom Islamic Center in Pembroke Pines, Florida on Saturday, July 16th. Click here for more information.
1. What led you to want to teach marriage enrichment classes?
I work with Muslim couples and families as an educator, counselor, mediator and relationship coach. PAIRS is a concise, user-friendly and insightful curriculum that provides couples, families and communities with tools to self-actualize through healthy relationships.
2. What are some of the unique challenges facing couples/families today?
Today, couples and families face interpersonal challenges in a societal context that reinforces individualism, materialism and hedonism at the expense of family values, commitment and true intimacy. Life can be so overwhelming and fast-paced that we fail to recognize that God has blessed us with so much. Feeling close and connected to the ones we love – and truly appreciating them for their uniqueness and the essential role we play in their lives — is among the simplest yet greatest blessings a human being can experience. Nurturing and sustaining these precious relationships takes introspection, insight, circumspection, dedication and commitment.
3. How has going through PAIRS training affected your life/family?
As a Muslim, I thank God for each and every blessing in my life. I aspire to love and obey God and follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, while upholding the Virgin Mary as the ultimate female role model. In the past, I expected my teenage daughters to strictly follow the teachings of Islam irrespective of the fact that they live in a society that often challenges family values and contradicts moral, ethical and religious teachings. PAIRS has shown me how to be more open, accepting and appreciative of myself and my teens as we chart our own unique paths and forge our own unique identities. As a result, my relationship with them has grown more authentic, intimate and spiritual.
4. What are some favorite hobbies you enjoy as a family?
As a family, my daughters and I share the hobbies of swimming, cycling, reading, watching movies, eating ethnic cuisine, travel and engaging with the human variety. We adore our cats Bubala and Macho.
5. What qualities would you like your friends/family to most admire about you?
I would like me family and friends to admire me for my humility, humor, compassion, free spirit, and ability to recognize and connect with the higher good in all people.
Click to Email Susan Smith or call (561) 379-1064.
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