Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Marina Ali: Accepting and Appreciating My Poor Immigrant Past

"It took me a while to reclaim my past in poverty. These days, I embrace my past. I talk, dress and act how I want to, and these things don’t determine my worth as a person."

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Sohail Hashmi: Reconciling Differences Between Cultures

"There's a lot of need for reform, especially for women's rights. You don't have a society that is moving forward, you have a society that's mired in the past."

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Hira Umer: Baking Towards A Breakthrough

"Cultural taboo and judgmental people aside, I focused just on my son and my business. Having a new business is challenging, being a single mom is challenging, combine the two and you have double the challenges."

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Mohammad J. Rahimi: Law, Justice, and the American Dream

"My passion for serving people and fighting for peace, human rights, and democracy only grew during my time in the United States. It was not an easy move by any means, however."

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Sara Khan: Living A Generosity Driven Existence

"I would most like to be remembered as someone that was generous and gave back to those around me. I don't want a life of a glamour, but a real, honest, generosity and love-driven existence."

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Afra Ahmed: Perceptions of Identity

"In fact, I feel more welcomed in this country than in many parts of the east. I always feel, accept and approach the diversity in openness and America has."

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Jasmina Bašić: Faith and Facing Expectation

"I'm afraid of mediocrity. As a Muslim, a woman, and a first-generation immigrant, I face certain additional challenges as I try to shoulder the weight of expectation placed upon me by my parents' move to this country."

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Mohammadou Habib Abdul Abbas Diagne: Being Labeled As A Threat

"It was definitely a point when I began to experience not being in a fully immersed Muslim culture, or not being around the influence of my Dad. That's the first time I started eating bacon, and you know, kind of pushing the envelope and exploring what it meant to not be in that immersive environment."

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Kendyl Noor Aurora: Nurturing Connection Through Differences

"We’ve created a lot of titles and labels that have built barriers around ourselves as individuals and our Muslim community as a whole. There were a few years after reverting where I felt stuck in an awkward place, like none of the various pieces of my life fit together quite right."

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Aya Razzaz: A Piece of America That Makes Me Proud

"So that's ideally what I would like to be doing because I feel like because I'm half-American I owe it to myself to learn more about this country."

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Behnaz Shafiei: Iranian Motocross Rider in the USA

"My efforts changed Iranian law to allow females to participate in motor racing and I am currently the only Iranian woman to hold a motorcycle racing permit."

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Salah Al-Mejri: From Tunisia to America- My Journey In The NBA

“There are many lessons to be learned from NBA players, but perhaps the most valuable is not only to enjoy what you’re doing, but to celebrate the fact that you have the chance to do it to begin with.”

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Nazida Syed: Starting Over, Fighting for Change

"I want to make ways for women like myself who have been victims of domestic violence to be able to get back on their own feet, take control of their lives, and their images, their reputations in society, so they will never be looked down upon for leaving an abusive marriage."

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Tahany Yassin: Launching ChiTown Photography

"I still continue learning because there is always room to grow. There are so many different techniques and effects a photographer can create with the vision they have set in their mind."

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Sameena Mustafa: Taking My Seat at the Table

"After one of my shows, an Israeli woman approached me in tears saying how much my performance moved her. Art could bring people together."

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Suraiya Rahman: Celebrate & Include Cultural Muslims

"I lost my personal faith, but not my heritage. Being a Muslim is more than just the god you pray to. It is identity, ritual, history, and culture. I have not lost any of those things."

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News Updates


Join MALA and Intersections International in NYC for “Muslims In Love”

Join us for an afternoon of story-telling and dialogue. All are welcome! Interfaith pieces will reflect romance and/or rage against love, marriage, and everything in between.

Jun 23, 2017

MALA Presents Children’s Book Reading Events in NYC

MALA is excited to celebrate multicultural heritage with friends and community members by featuring children's books reading events in New York City. Free admission!

Jun 08, 2017

Celebrate Peace and Light during Ramadan with MALA

Regardless of your faith, gender, or origin, MALA welcomes you to join the celebration of Ramadan. Help us spread a message of hope, diversity, and inclusion in America, a nation born out of pluralism.

May 26, 2017
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