Naz Khan: Landing on her Feet—All Over the World
Adventure, help and love are the key to understanding Naz Khan. Her profile is one of 200 “Meet a Scientologist” videos available on the Scientology website at www.scientology.org.
Naz Khan thrived on a childhood that took her to seven countries in as many years.
Khan, 23, is the youngest child of an Ethiopian-born Indian woman from whom she inherited her sense of adventure. Her mother's medical degree did not exempt her from an arranged marriage to an Indian policeman who lived in the United States. In the years her mother was giving birth to and raising three children, she also earned a pilot’s license and became a U.S. Air Force flight surgeon. But finding the marriage oppressive, and believing that freedom was more important than material comforts, when Khan was three her mother divorced and left America in search of a new home and career, children in tow.
Khan recalls the next few years as an exciting array of countries, new friends and new ideas: France, Germany, Italy, Morocco and Kenya in rapid succession, followed by four years in Kampala, Uganda, while her mother worked on a UNICEF AIDS initiative.
“My childhood was a blessing,” says Khan. “I gained such an understanding of humanity.”
Returning to America at the age of nine, Khan continued to thrive on her peripatetic life—from schools in Sacramento where her father and aunt lived, to Montana where her mother was now a doctor on an Indian reservation, to a year in Brazil as an exchange student. Khan excelled as a student.
After high school and a year in Americorps coordinating after-school programs for an underserved middle school, Khan enrolled at Berkeley City College in Berkeley, California, where she became opinion page editor of the college paper and vice president of the student body.
A rough relationship prompted Khan to spend some time checking out www.scientology.org.
“I used to fight a lot with my boyfriend at the time. We were always breaking up,” says Khan. “I wanted to figure that out. But what I wanted even more was to find out how to help people—it’s always been my purpose in life—and what I saw on the website gave me the idea this might be the place I could learn both.”
She went to the Church of Scientology Mission in the SoMa (South of Market Street) district of San Francisco and enrolled on a course. Within a week, she was doing volunteer work and it wasn’t long before she took on a staff position at the Church of Scientology of San Francisco where she is training to be a Scientology spiritual counselor.
Khan continues her college studies part time and is also lead fitness instructor at the YMCA where she has worked for the past five years. Fiancé Bolan Williams, 27—with whom she does not fight or break up—is also a staff member at the Church. They are planning a 2011 wedding.
“I feel my whole life was a prelude to finding Scientology.” Khan says.
“A spiritual being is capable of absolute love—not a superficial or ‘blind’ love but a love that is willing to confront anything, that makes it possible to stand by someone and help them get through it without ever losing faith. That is what Scientology is about and that is why I am a Scientologist.”
The popular “Meet a Scientologist” profiles on the Church of Scientology International Video Channel at Scientology.org now total 200 broadcast-quality documentary videos featuring Scientologists from diverse locations and walks of life. The personal stories are told by Scientologists who are educators, teenagers, skydivers, a golf instructor, a hip-hop dancer, IT manager, stunt pilot, mothers, fathers, dentists, photographers, actors, musicians, fashion designers, engineers, students, business owners and more.
A digital pioneer and leader in the online religious community, in April 2008 the Church of Scientology became the first major religion to launch its own official YouTube Video Channel, which has now been viewed by millions of visitors.