Korean Musician Mino Al Bohemi’s Amazing Journey to Islam
In recent times, similar to the rest of the world, there has been a surge in the number of Muslim reverts in South Korea.
So this upward trend towards Islam has also affected the Korean social media influencers, many of whom have reverted to Islam and are sharing the beautiful religion through their social media profiles. One such example is that of a former Korean professional musician, Mino Al Bohemi, who is mainly known for his popular Youtube channel, Bohemian Kitchen.
On a side note, we don’t encourage Music or anything related to that, however this is relevat to his story…
so to begin with, Mino would study a variety of music as a professional. One day, he came across Arabic which aroused curiosity within him. Resultantly, he went on a trip to Morocco for learning “Darbouka,” commonly called the goblet drum. When he went on that trip, he had no plans of moving to Morocco or becoming a Muslim, but Allah, the most merciful, had other plans for him.
So, Mino arrived in Morocco back in 2006 and soon got swept into the country’s culture. Impressed by Morocco’s grandeur, Mino decided to study Islam and, in the process, he made many good friends. Soon after, he decided to revert from Christianity.
Thereafter, he went back to his hometown, Seoul, South Korea in 2007 and spent his first Ramadan there. He started attending the first-ever mosque to be built in Korea, Seoul Central Mosque where he would also break his fast. “I feel so peaceful and relaxed after prayer,” said Mino.
When asked about how his family reacted upon his conversion, Mino replied: “They respect my choice and support me a lot.”
So moving on, in 2008, Mino flew to Sydney, Australia on a working holiday, where he met Muslim brothers from all over the world. At that time, he was working for a delivery service in Sydney, and one day, he met this girl who went on to become her future wife.
Mino introduced Islam to her and she accepted the religion’s teachings and became a Muslim without hesitation. In 2010, he traveled with her back to his home country where he opened a halal restaurant in front of a mosque in Seoul. Mino was himself, the cook of the restaurant and he cooked Moroccan and Korean mix food for the Muslim tourists, who happened to really like his food.
Soon after that, Mino got married and asked her wife to move to Morocco with him. She agreed. However, before they implemented their joint decision to spend their lives in Morocco, they went to Malaysia for their honeymoon.
Finally, they arrived in Morocco, traveled around the country by an old camper until they found a place to live, in the city of Azrou, 83 kilometers from Fez. During his first Ramadan in the country, Mino’s neighbors would invite him and his wife to join them in iftar as they knew that he had no family in Morocco. “They wanted me to feel the warmth of family in Ramadan. Alhumdulillah (thank God), it was so special for me.” Due to the lockdown measures in place, Mino wasn’t able to perform the Taraweeh prayer in a mosque which made him sad. However, he and his wife decided to capitalize on that time by enhancing their bond and learning more about Islam. Mino said: “We can focus on ourselves much more than any other year and we can spend more quality time with our family…We study deeply about Islam from online lectures….and Of course we do not stop [taking] new video recipes for our subscribers.”
In 2017, Mino’s mother arrived in Morocco to live with him. For three years, Mino imparted to her the teachings of Islam and on the day of Eid-ul-Adha in August 2020, she uttered her Shahadah and became a Muslim. On the same Eid, Mino and his friends also donated animals to their Muslim brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering from hunger.
Mino now lives in a village near Chefchaouen in the north of Morocco, surrounded by mountains and green fields. He continues to pursue his culinary passion with basic tools and natural ingredients. His Youtube Channel features plenty of cooking tutorials on both Moroccan and Korean meals.
While for many, lockdown during Ramadan is an unsurmountable hurdle towards all the fun activities, for Mino, nature presents an even better alternative: “Alhamdulillah, we are living in the countryside so we can walk around [the] river and climb the mountains near our house.”
With the lockdown restrictions easing up, Mino has begun visiting other countries and try out their cuisines, the latest ones being Pakistan and Turkey.
During this period of physical social distancing, Mino hopes that the “distance of our hearts will become closer than before.”
May Allah continues to shower his blessings upon him and the entire Muslim ummah. Ameen!