Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Masoud Juya
Masoud Juya: A Life in Service to Humanity

Masoud Juya is pursuing a PhD at the University of North Texas through a Fulbright Scholarship. Here, he recounts his journey, and how it has shaped his commitment to public service. An entrepreneur, an educator and a Fulbright Scholar, I was born in a village near the City of Herat, considered to be Afghanistan’s cultural and […]

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Afrina Khan
Afrina Khan: Journey to Wholeness

Afrina Khan found her passion as a certified holistic health counselor. She trained in more than 100 different dietary theories, from all the new-age, raw food, and vegan movements to ancient traditions like Ayurveda and the work of Dr. Weston Price. She also trained in a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods such as stress […]

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Iftar Memories
Iftar Memories

This Ramadan, MALA hosted a series of Iftar parties in Chicago, Washington, DC, and New York City. We loved making new friends and breaking fast with old ones! MALA intern Farah Harb participated in our May 23 Iftar meet-up in Chicago and chatted with attendees about their favorite Iftar memories and traditions. As we finish the […]

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Lisa Gunderson Chicago Mompreneur
Chicago Mompreneur: Lisa Prock

Every May, we dedicate the day to celebrating mothers and their unconditional love and support (even though they deserve to be celebrated every day!). However, women should never be defined solely by motherhood: all their passions and achievements should be highlighted and recognized. On Wednesday, June 6, MALA will host Chicago Mompreneurs to do exactly this […]

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Kiran Rasul on Ramadan
Life Comes Full Circle with a Cyclical Ramadan

  Kiran Ansari shares her love for the varying Ramadan calendar.   I love how Ramadan comes at a different time each year. As Muslims follow the lunar calendar, Ramadan starts around ten days earlier every year. It may sound weird how this month-long holiday does not have a fixed date in our conventional Gregorian […]

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Vareesha Khan
Vareesha Khan: Bringing Different Worlds Together

"But really, being someone who moved around a lot, you had to be flexible, adaptable, and observant of the world around you and the things that change from one place to the next. Coming from that experience at a young age really defined my next steps in life."

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Hibaq Hassan
Hibaq Hassan: My American Journey

"My parents would remind me everyday about the significance of education and how fortunate I was to have the have the chance to explore educational opportunities."

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Aamir Hussain
Aamir Hussain: Shanti and Salaam

"I realized that my identity as an Indian Muslim made me a “cultural bridge” of sorts between the majority of Indians who are Hindu and American Muslims, who consist of a wide array of ethnic groups. I credit my parents for refusing to give into tribalism and religious paternalism, and encouraging me to respect and learn about other religions."

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Lina Mohammed
Lina Mohammed: A Muslim Ethiopian American’s Journey to Success

"I want to change the global perception on the media that Muslim and African American are oppressed, depressed, and repressed in society when it comes to having a voice."

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Somann Irani
Somann Irani: Giving it One Hundred and Ten Percent

"I am very happy and lucky to be able to find a career or a calling that is going to be able to give me financial success, but also that I really enjoy."

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Clyde Amin: The Ability To Create Change

"My advice to young people is that the time that you are living in is the time that you are prepared to live in."

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I am an FGM Survivor
I Said It Loudly: I Am An FGM Survivor

"My body was not supposed to be violated in this severe way, nor was my soul. Yet, both happened. But I am comforted in knowing that there are others I can talk to who understand my pain."

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Najifa Hossain: Freedom, As West Encounters East

"Today, I know that the two separate sides of me were never separate at all; they are the same. They are American. They are Muslim. They are me."

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Maiem Alam
Maiem Alam: The Depth of Immigration

“Others tend to see your results and envy your outcomes, but they fail to take notice of the amount of hard work and sacrifices you have made to get where you stand today.”

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Sonia Sultan: America – The Land of Opportunities and Freedom

"This country never failed to surprise me by showing the generous amount of human, constitutional, and civil rights citizens of America have and how much power and independence an individual could have in this country."

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Shahbab Ahmed: The Land of Opportunities

"The civil and organized environment in America is a stark contrast to the pandemonium that I had gotten used to in Bangladesh. I feel that there is order in this new land whereas there was always chaos in my previous home. America is not just the land of opportunities, it is the land of possibilities."

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News Updates


MALA Hosts Multi-City Series of Iftar Dinners

Ramadan 2018 was a busy time for MALA! We loved breaking fast with so many friends at so many Iftar tables. We kicked off our MALA Iftar series with a festive dinner meet-up on May 23 in Chicago. MALA friends and newcomers converged at the popular fast-casual destination I Dream of Falafel. Since Ramadan is a […]

Jun 15, 2018

MALA Partners on Ramadan Story Guide

  Include the entire family and promote community dialogue with storytime MALA is thrilled to partner with publisher KitaabWorld on a simple guide for parents and educators on hosting a Ramadan event for children! KitaabWorld publishes a beautiful collection of books geared towards everyone from toddlers to young adults. Their Ramadan collection includes everyone’s favorite monkey […]

May 07, 2018

MALA Launches First Community Builders Council

Council convenes leaders and core supporters to strengthen MALA programming On April 20, MALA convened its first Community Builders Council meeting over luncheon at The Metropolitan in Chicago. Attendees included MALA’s core supporters and community leaders from across the greater Chicago area. Many thanks to this glamorous members-only space at the top of Willis Tower […]

May 07, 2018
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