Sajad grew up as a troubled teen. He started associating with gang members and participating in destructive lifestyles, which inevitably resulted in a six-year prison sentence while still a teenager. A year after his release and with no education or marketable skills, he found himself gravitating towards those same destructive lifestyles and being sentenced to 25-to-life in prison under California’s “three strikes” law.
He changed his life and embarked on an extensive process of introspection and self-reform. He enrolled in college, pursued his studies with Tayba and eventually graduated from Ohio University, is only the second prisoner to ever do so in San Quentin State Prison’s 150-year history. Post-release, Sajad was an instructor at Tayba and now pursues a doctorate in education at the Western Institute in Berkeley, California.