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Maryam Mostoufi - People of Faith

Maryam Mostoufi was one of Springfield, Illinois's Muslim community faith leaders for many years. She was born into a strong Disciples of Christ family in Marshalltown, Iowa, with Janice Hallam being her birth name. She had an active curiosity about religion growing up, but was rejected by a Disciples of Christ seminary due to her belief that Jesus was not divine. While attending Iowa State University, her religious quest led her to Islam. She met Siavash Mostoufi, an Iranian student working on a masters degree in soil science, while there. They married in 1971 and in 1972 the couple moved to Iran, staying there until the Iranian Revolution of 1979. Maryam talks at length about her faith, and about her family's experiences as Muslims in America today.

Interview Links

Feature Except-Audio

Siavash's brothers in faith

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early years in Iowa, spiritual search and meeting Siavash Mostoufi

Interview Session 04 (Audio)


Photos

Caption

Maryam’s mother Dorothy smiles for the camera on her wedding day in 1947 while at the family farm near Albion, Illinois.

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

1947

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Dorothy Hallam holds her infant daughter Janice Lynn Hallam (Maryam) in 1948 at the family home in Albion, Illinois.

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

1948

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam’s father John T. Hallam (left), grandmother Marjorie Cousling (center), and mother Dorothy stand behind older brother Thomas and Janice on Easter Sunday, 1951 in Albion, Illinois.

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

1951

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Six-year-old Janice (Maryam), with a twinkle in her eye, was photographed in Albion, Illinois in 1954. Maryam later laughed and recalled, “Oh, I was trouble,” when seeing the picture.

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

1954

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

John and Dorothy Hallam family gathered for a photo while living in Marshalltown, Iowa, in 1964. The children from left to right are Lucinda Sue (front), Tom, John R. (front), Janice (Maryam) and Rodney.

Where:

Marshalltown, Iowa

When:

1964

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Janice was named “Miss Firefighter” during a beauty pageant for redheads only in Marshalltown, Iowa in 1967.

Where:

Marshalltown, Iowa

When:

1967

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Janice, on the top left, was a member of the Dress Blue Drill Team while she was a student at Iowa State University.

Where:

Iowa State University

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Janice Hallam was a college senior at ISU in 1970 and visiting her parent’s Marshalltown home.

Where:

Iowa State University

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam received a degree in education from Iowa State University on graduation day in June 1970.

Where:

Iowa State University

When:

June 1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Siavash is pictured riding a motorcycle in Albion, IL during a Christmas visit to Maryam’s grandparent’s home in 1970.

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam and Siavash were wed on September 18, 1971 in Marshalltown at the Central Christian Church, with Rev. Richard Walters presiding over the ceremony.

Where:

Marshalltown, Iowa

When:

September 18, 1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Janice is all smiles as she walks down the church steps with Siavash after their wedding. She legally changed her name to Maryam many years later.

Where:

Marshalltown, Iowa

When:

1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Siavash Mostoufi received his master’s degree in water resources engineering from Iowa State University in December 1971. Maryam and Siavash had married in September 1971.

Where:

Iowa State University

When:

December 1971

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Siavash is pictured in his and Maryam’s Ames, Iowa apartment in early 1972, not long after their wedding.

Where:

Ames, Iowa

When:

1972

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam’s son Siamak hugs his sister Leila Marie during a visit to Maryam’s parent’s home in Albion, IL in February of 1978.

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

February of 1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Siavash Mostoufi’s mother, Kheidijeh Mostoufi, niece Sheda, and his sister Hellen Mostoufi sit together in Tehran, the capital of Iran, circa 1979.

Where:

Tehran, the capital of Iran

When:

Circa 1979

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam’s children Siamak (right) and Leila (center left) sit on the couch with their cousins Rodney and Stacy Hallam at their grandparents’ home in Albion, Illinois in 1979.

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

1979

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Mostoufi family is pictured in Springfield in 1979, following their return from Iran after that country’s revolution. At the time, Siavash worked for the Illinois Department of Transportation, and Maryam taught in southern Illinois.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1979

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Siamak and Leila Marie Mostoufi sit on the couch in their pajamas in the family’s home in Springfield during the winter of 1982.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1982

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Janice and Siavash Mostoufi sit together in her parent’s Albion home, circa 1982.

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

Circa 1982

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam’s parents, Dorothy

Where:

Albion, Illinois

When:

1987

Ownership:

(May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator

Caption

Maryam Mostoufi is pictured in the early 1990s, shortly after she began wearing the hijab and changed her name from Janice.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Early 1990s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam and Siavash traveled to Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia as part of their Hajj in 1991, fulfilling one of the five pillars of Islam.

Where:

Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia

When:

1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Siavash was pictured in 1991, during his pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Siavash is wearing sandals and a robe comprised of two white sheets, which all men on the Hajj are required to wear to enter into ihram, or a state of holiness.

Where:

Mecca in Saudi Arabia

When:

1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam and Leila Marie Mostoufi are pictured during their Hajj to Mecca in 1991. Women on Hajj must leave their faces uncovered and wear a hijab in order to enter into ihram.

Where:

Mecca in Saudi Arabia

When:

1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Mostoufis celebrated Thanksgiving at a friend’s home in Springfield in 1991.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1991

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Mostoufi family visits the soon-to-be-demolished CILCO (Central Illinois Light Company) building in East Peoria, circa 1995.

Where:

East Peoria, Illinois

When:

Circa 1995

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam received her Master of Arts degree in education from the University of Illinois Springfield in 1995.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1995

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain

Caption

The devastating effects of the June 1995 Mosque fire can be seen in this photograph. The bookshelves were filled with Qurans, but none of the pages were so damaged that you could not read the text.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

June 1995

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam and Senator Paul Simon are interviewed by reporters outside the Springfield Mosque in June 1995, shortly after the mosque fire. The police suspected arson. Springfield alderman Sam Cahnman is to Maryam’s left.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

June 1995

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Leila is pictured with her friend Laura Armstrong at the Armstrong family home in Rochester, circa 1996.

Where:

Rochester, Illinois

When:

Circa 1996

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The foundation for the new Springfield Mosque is seen at the groundbreaking for the mosque in 1998. The original mosque burned down under mysterious circumstances in 1995.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1998

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The elders of the Islamic Society of Greater Springfield hold shovels at the groundbreaking for the new Springfield Mosque in 1998. Siavash is second from the left.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1998

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Siavash cuts his birthday cake in September of 2000, at a party with friends in the Mostoufi’s Springfield home.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

September of 2000

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Siavash and his friend Akbar Moghtader stand near a sign for the Rock Island Trail in Illinois.

Where:

Illinois

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam, accompanied by her parents, stands in the Illinois Senate chamber on March 24, 2006 after opening the session with a prayer in her role as chaplain.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

March 24, 2006

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Maryam stands at the podium in the Illinois Senate chamber after opening the session with a prayer, becoming the first Muslim woman to do so.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

March 24, 2006

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

This portrait of Siavash and Maryam was taken in 2006.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

2006

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Maryam’s husband Siavash Mostoufi stands in his Springfield office, circa 2010. Siavash was working for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources at that time.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 2010

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

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