Ali Master
Beyond the Golden Door: Seeing the American Dream through an Immigrant's Eyes
Morgan James Publishing, New York, 2019
ISBN-13: 978-1642792850

beyond the golden door


"Easy-to-read, Beyond The Golden Door provides some fascinating insights not only into what it's like for immigrants coming in to the US but also into the journey of a how a person with a Muslim background came to be a follower of Christ. "

Ali Master grew up as a Muslim in Pakistan but as a young man was given the opportunity to attend an American college. It was a decision that was to have a profound impact on his life, including providing the freedom to embrace a new faith in Jesus Christ.

This book is his account of that tale but it's also an expression of gratitude for the opportunites his move to the US has opened up to him. 

Master was just 18-years-old when he moved to the US in 1986, leaving behind his family, home and friends in Karachi for the first time to study at a university in Texas. It was a rocky beginning as he adjusted to a new life in a strange country and in the book he details how, after initially flunking out of college, losing his job and even making a failed suicide attempt, he was able to eventually find his feet at both school and work.

It also talks of how he encountered Christ for the first time, found love and negotiated his family relationships, particularly when it came to his choice of wife and his new-found faith (and in spite of a revelation about his background which shook him to the core).

The book is structured in four sections - while the first two deal with his life in Pakistan and his start in the US, part three looks at five "freedoms" he found after his move to the US: freedom to fail, freedom to love, freedom of religion, freedom to build one's own business and the freedom offered in self-government.

While Master, who eventually became a partner with global firm E&Y is certainly an advocate for the idea of the "American Dream" - something he defines not as about what you can ultimately achieve in terms of financial success but about "your visions and aspirations being within your grasp if you are willing to strive for them". But he acknowledges that the US is not a perfect nation and has its own issues.

He's also aware that his story as an immigrant who successfully made a new life in the US is not everyone's experience: "I want to acknowledge that my current experience as a well-assimilated, successful Pakistani male married to a Caucasian woman can hardly compare to that of a Muslim woman who observes the hijab or a black teen from the inner city".

Easy-to-read, Beyond The Golden Door provides some fascinating insights not only into what it's like for immigrants coming in to the US but also into how a Muslim man from Pakistan came to be a follower of Christ.