Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Kara Lozier: We Are a Global Family

Kara Lozier lives in Vermont and is the founder of ROYA – Resources of Young Afghans, through which she has been counseling, mentoring and supporting young Afghans in various ways. From 2006-2011, she served as a community coordinator for mostly Muslim exchange students from countries in Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and Eastern Europe. I […]

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Zoha Raza: Collateral Damage

Zoha is a recipent of the Fawaz Kannout Memorial Scholarship Fund. Awarded in conjunction with the MALA Scholarship Program, this Scholarship recognizes compassionate and ambitious individuals who are committed to strengthening and serving their communities through cultural engagement, inclusive discourse, and progressive thought.To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here. As I walked down […]

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Sarah Al Shahad: The War

Sarah is a recipient of the Fawaz Kannout Memorial Scholarship Fund. Given in conjunction with the MALA Scholarship Program, this scholarship recognizes compassionate and ambitious individuals who are committed to strengthening and serving their communities through cultural engagement, inclusive discourse, and progressive thought. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here. Being in a […]

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Semira Ahemed: Triple Identity

Semira is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship opportunities, click here.  My parents wanted a son as their first child and fortunately for one week, their […]

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Somaya Albadani: Roots to Success

Is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship opportunities, click here.  A family trip to Yemen was exactly what my dad thought we needed to keep in […]

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Hassan Aboud: Opportunity From the Other Side

Hassan is a recipient of the 2019 Khan Memorial Fund Scholarship. Given in conjunction with the MALA Scholarship Program, the Khan Memorial fund awards scholarships to rising leaders who demonstrate bravery, integrity, and compassion in storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here. When I first walked off the plane and entered the […]

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Zahra Memon: Bridging the Gap Between Two Worlds: Deaf and Hearing

Is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship opportunities, click here. “Hey, Papa, when is Ahmed coming home?” “Later,” my father said, his voice uneasy. “Can I […]

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Faiza Mah: Fear of Death

Faiza is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here.  “I won’t leave you alone; hold my hand,” Bushra said in an unsettling tone. I […]

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Rawan Alzubaidi: Six Countries, One Person

Rawan is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program. In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship opportunities, click here. It was dark inside and outside, the electricity used to go at least 5 hours […]

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Zuhair Imaduddin: Freedom as a Muslim American

Zuhair is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here.  After my brothers and I were tired of being chased by waves crashing on the […]

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Razan Mikdashi: Lebanese-American Grown

Is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship opportunities, click here. I remember my mother clenching her jaw as she accepted primitive condolences when announcing she was […]

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Tahrim Imon: A Piece of the American Mosaic

Tahrim is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here.  The cold breeze of December races outside, banging against the windows, and droplets of snow […]

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Hussein Alameedi: My Muslim Identity

Hussein is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals who demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship opportunities, click here.  My journey isn’t the most cheerful. I am a Muslim boy who also identifies […]

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Ala Salameh: Identity Through Solidarity

Is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program.  In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here.  Last Spring, Loyola University Chicago’s School of Law was a microcosm of our broader society, for […]

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Farishta Abdul Latif: The Perfect Curse of the Prayer Answered

Farishta is one of the recipients of the Fawaz Kannout Memorial Scholarship Fund. Awarded in conjunction with the MALA Scholarship Program this scholarship recognizes compassionate and ambitious individuals who are committed to strengthening and serving their communities through cultural engagement, inclusive discourse, and progressive thought. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here. How […]

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Katarzyna Clarke: Human

Katarzyna is a recipient of the Fawaz Kannout Memorial Scholarship. Awarded in conjunction with the MALA Scholarship Program, this scholarship recognizes compassionate and ambitious individuals who are committed to strengthening and serving their communities through cultural engagement, inclusive discourse, and progressive thought. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here. The resident physician’s ponytail […]

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News Updates


MALA Co-Founder, Emil Aldaddah to Receive Community Leadership Award

Next month, MALA Co-Founder, Emil Aldaddah will be honored by the Chicago Cultural Alliance at their annual MOSAIC gala. Emil will be awarded the prestigious Outstanding Community Leader Award for his dedicated work to create opportunity and important cultural dialogue in his community.

Apr 22, 2019

MALA Hosts Nowruz Global Festival

On March 30th, MALA partnered with AMENA Creative to host a day of cultural activities in celebration on the Persian Nowruz holiday. MALA invited Master Sommelier, Anahita Shams and Professor Touraj Daryaee of University of California Irvine to discuss their new BBC documentary on the history and origins of Shiraz wine.

Apr 16, 2019

MALA Hosts Panel in Parallel with 63rd Annual UNCSW Addressing FGM in the USA: Safeguarding Survivors and Potential Victims

On Monday, March 18th, MALA hosted a panel in parallel with the 63rd annual meeting of the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women (CSW). The panel, titled, "Addressing FGM in the USA: Safeguarding Survivors and Potential Victims," brought together five experts from various fields who do work or activism relating to Female Genital Mutilation or Cutting.

Apr 15, 2019
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