Ali Naqvi (left) poses with Brian Miller and Mrs. Miller.
TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – A military manâ€™s beliefs have been changed for the better, thanks to a new addition to his family.
Brian Miller served in the army in the 1980s in various locations. Heâ€™s a military vet, with a pride for country, youâ€™d be hard pressed to match. His son fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Miller said his son had negative experiences while in those areas. He admits those experiences, in addition to the events of 9/11 gave him a skewed view of a big part of middle eastern culture. â€œI wouldnâ€™t say hate or racist, I would say dislike of the Muslim community,â€ Miller said.
However, his beliefs would be turned upside down once his fiancee announced the family would be getting a little bigger. She works for the state exchange program that places students with families, and one of them needed a home.
Thatâ€™s where we met Brianâ€™s newest son, Ali Naqvi.
â€œThey accepted me in their home and I ended up being their.. like exchange student.â€
Properly, his name is Syed Muhammad Ali Naqvi. His hometown is Karachi, Pakistan. His religion is Shiite Muslim. He was sent as part of the YES Exchange Program.
It was started by Richard Lugar and Ted Kennedy after 9/11. Its goal is to bridge the gap between middle eastern countries with Muslim cultures and the U.S. That bridge made itâ€™s way to Shirkieville, where Miller lives.
â€œOnce we got Ali in the home, I got to learn a lot and he enlightened me to quite a few things,â€ Miller said.
After that, they became a family that virtually inseparable.
â€œI tried to relieve some misconceptions and it was pretty good. They welcomed me into their home,â€ Naqvi said.
Miller said his perspective on the Muslim culture has completely changed thanks to Naqvi.