Ali, Anila

Teacher; Candidate for State Assembly 2014





Field Value
ID 29
Title An oral history with Anila Ali
Date 2014-11-19
OH ID OH 5488
Citation Anila Ali interviewed by Kevin Kipers, November 19, 2014, Irvine, California, Oral History #5488, transcript, Women Politics, and Activism Since Suffrage, Center for Oral and Public History, California State University, Fullerton.
Restricted false
Created At 2017-07-30 19:18:07 UTC
Location Irvine, CA
Language English
Subjects Citizenship → Immigration → Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Family → Family Histories and Traditions
Family → Values
Recreation and Leisure → Travel
Family → Grandparents
Family → Siblings
Family → Parenting
Family → Childhood Experiences → children of immigrants or refugees
Citizenship → Immigration
Citizenship → Immigration → Assimilation
Community Organizations → Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER L.A.)
Education → Higher Education
Gender and Sexuality → Gender Roles
Religion → Islam → Muslim
Activism → Anti-Domestic Violence Activism
Family → Divorce
African American → Electeds / Appointed Officials → Barack Obama
Elections → Campaigning
Elections → Local Elections
Politics → Democrats versus Republicans
Gender and Sexuality → Equal Pay
Gender and Sexuality → Feminism
Elected Officials → Presidential → President Richard Nixon
Locations → Pakistan
Race Relations → Anglo-Southeast Asian Relations
Women's Organizations → All Pakistan Women's Association (APWA)
Activism → Volunteering
Historic Events → 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
Gender and Sexuality → Women's Rights
Religion → Islam
Religion → Islam → Islamophobia
Women's Organizations → Irvine Pakistani Parent's Association
Activism → Human Rights
Community Organizations → International Leadership Foundation
Media → Journalism
Direct Action → Fundraising


An oral history interview with Anila Ali, a teacher, activist, and politician. The purpose of this interview was to gather information about her activism in human rights and politics within the Democratic Party in Orange County. This interview was conducted as part of the Women, Activism, and Politics Project for Dr. Natalie Fousekis’ Oral History class at California State University, Fullerton. The interview covers Anila’s childhood from her birth in Karachi, Pakistan, moving to London at age ten and traveling between the UK and Pakistan every summer; her discussion of dealing with classmates who had racist attitudes toward her as a child; her help in operating the All Pakistan Women’s Association at a young age; she describes his political ideology; why she felt a need to break out of Pakistani tradition; mentions what prompted her to immigrate to the United States in the mid-1990s; her story behind meeting and marrying her husband with a little background on him; she considers human rights her biggest passion behind being an activist, especially on issues of empowerment for women and ethnic minorities; her involvement with the American Muslim Women’s Empowerment Council; chairing the International Leadership Foundation; founded the Irvine Pakistani Parents Association; formerly served on the advisory of Irvine Children, Youth and Families; serving on the boards of the Olive Tree Initiative of UCI and the Irvine Public School Foundation; dealing with the domestic violence issue in Irvine; her work with the Democrats of Greater Irvine organization; how she first associated herself with the Democratic Party and why it suited her better than the Republican Party; she retells the story of being greatly inspired by then-Senator Obama after meeting him, reading one of his books, and started campaigning for him in 2007; a characterization of her leadership style; her mention of editing some of her father’s past articles and writing for the Orange County Register; she explains her reason for wanting to run for the California State Assembly in District 74 and her greatest successes while campaigning even though she lost; makes mention of wanting to run for that seat again in 2016; challenges of being a Democrat in Orange County; her description of differences in how men and women lead; points to issues she believes are more important to women than men; provides her personal definition of a feminist and the extent to which she considers herself one; highlights what she enjoys most about being active in the political process and her proudest achievement as a politician and activist.


Field Value
File Name 5488_P01.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 45958
Description> Fundraiser for Organizing for America at Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Anila Ali with Senator Obama.
Field Value
File Name 5488_P02.jpg
Content Type image/jpeg
Size 50367
Description> Anila Ali with President Clinton and Governor Newson.