Everyday Conversions: Islam, Domestic Work, and South Asian Migrant Women in Kuwait
To learn more about Islam, many domestic workers obtain learning materials and take classes at Kuwait’s Islamic da’wa movement’s women’s center. Taught in their first languages, by teachers of similar ethnonational backgrounds, these classes effectively reproduce domestic workers’ ethnonational belongings—even as these belongings are suffused with new Islamic sensibilities, understandings, and practices. Emphasizing fluid, student-centered pedagogies, these classes intertwine discussions of domestic workers’ Islamic conversions with other changes taking place in their lives, ones existing prior to but further spurred by their migration and everyday life in Kuwait. This chapter discusses the processual nature of the Muslim belongings that members develop, and how these belongings develop in relation rather than opposition to their existing religious practices, familial relationships, and ethnonational belongings.