Ali Mazloum is one of millions of migrants whose story shows so many Lebanese refugees’ determination and progress. When his father, Mohammed came to Brazil in 1950, he never knew that his son would become a federal judge one day. Ali Mazloum is the first Muslim of Lebanese descent in what is the world’s largest Roman Catholic country to hold such a position.
Like the majority of Lebanese immigrants at that time, Ali Mazloum’s parents went to Brazil looking for jobs. His father worked as a street vendor and owned a furniture store after that. Born in 1960, their son Ali is one of eight siblings.
He was hired as a police chief after graduation, before working as a prosecutor. In 1992, he took office as a federal judge, the first Muslim to do this in Brazil. “I am still the only Muslim federal judge in the country and God willing, I can soon take up the post of magistrate at the supreme Federal Court.” That remains his ambition. “I look forward to the promotion, which I hope will happen early next year.” After retirement, he said that he would like to join Amir and Walid’s sons in the law office. “They are doing a wonderful job as lawyers.”
The influence of Mazloum does not end with a judge’s day-to-day job. He has written books about the constitution, the courts, and Islam. He has not shed his Islamic identity and his writing is his way of making his fellow Brazilians more about the Islamic identity.