Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Samar Haider: The Maxim I Chose to Live By

Samar describes her passion for healthcare, and discusses the obstacles and opportunities that have guided her desire to help people.   His voice was barely audible through the Skype online phone call, but I could easily tell he was weaker than before. I asked my uncle how he was feeling, knowing fully that his answer would […]

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Sawera Choudary: At the Edge of Dawn

“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”                      -Henry David Thoreau.   I am a morning person. Something about the dark sky before the break of dawn gives me a sense of […]

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Hikmah Okoya: Wisdom

Hikma describes her journey to self-acceptance and empowerment as a Black Muslim woman in the U.S.     Black (\blak\) Adjective : The opposite of white. A pigmentation color too dark to be considered beautiful. The color of bark after it has been burned by fire. The color people here in America where to funerals. The […]

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Fanta N’Diasseny: A Girl With a Dream

Fanta immigrated to the United States at the age of eight.  Her story outlines her triumphs, and her dedication to education as a cherished American value.   Life isn’t about finding yourself or figuring out what separates you from everyone else, it’s about all the different challenges and obstacles you’ve overcome that have helped you get […]

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Subhana Ahmed: Hungry

Subhana reflects on her struggles with body image, and describes how she forged her own path to self-discipline, confidence, and good health.      Ten more minutes until sunset. The lingering aroma of the crispy naan bread and chicken curry encompassed the air. The clock finally struck eight o’clock and the adhan called to prayer. […]

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Nooran Alhamdan: I Am My Own Superwoman

Nooran describes her struggle to reconcile two identities growing up in a small New Hampshire town.  Her story speaks to the power of confidence, perseverance, and heritage.   I had an innocent childhood. I never saw a difference between the little girl at home who spoke Arabic with her mother and climbed onto my father’s back […]

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Mahreen Ansari: To Be a Pakistani-American in White America

Mahreen reflects on the complicated nature of intersecting identities.  In her stories, she remembers formative incidents of prejudice, friendship, and learning as she developed her own identity as a Pakistani American.   The smell of curry and other spices waft through my home and cling to my hair, giving it an ethnic smell that everyone at […]

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Farah Alkurdy: Out of Hardship, Pride.

When her mother fell ill, Farah become increasingly aware of stereotypes and prejudices as her family sought medical care.  Her story describes how this experience brought strength, confidence, and growth.    As a Middle Eastern, Muslim individual growing up in America with parents who didn’t speak English as their first language, my identity has evolved […]

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Rewan Abdelwahab: The Creature

Rewan discusses her journey from fear, to pride, to activism as a Muslim woman.  Her story illustrates the power of bravery and persistence in the face of fear and terror.   Temporarily paralyzed, I stared into the creature’s feral eyes and feared for my life. My body trembled as it approached me viciously. Its owner stood […]

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Yasmin Aden: I Am the Poem

In her story, Yasmin recalls stories of her childhood as a refugee and reflects on the importance of poetry, family, and home in developing one’s identity.   I am the poem my mother wrote to the future. Folded between time and space, I am a collection of words that house the dreams of my community. Hands […]

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Daniya Ahmed: Muslim OR American?

"Identity is not a group you choose and assimilate into; it is a fluid concept that involves a mixture of multiple identities. All I strive for is an honest identity, being true in what I believe and what I share."

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Najy Sadig: The Duality of My Identity

"My identity is defined through its duality. Despite the challenges, I am grateful that my identity has enabled to not only love my beliefs and others, but most importantly- love myself."

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Humayra Himel: Endeavors Of All Sorts

"However, in order to achieve my dreams, I had a lot of barriers to overcome. One such challenge is that most women in my culture don’t have higher education. Another challenge is that my family and I moved to the US during high-school with little knowledge of English, American culture, and the educational system."

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Mustafa Al Shawaf: Within My Reach

"Having a disability is what sparked my dream to be a doctor. A doctor knows and understands the greatest gift from God--the human body--which has such special details that even a doctor learns with wonder."

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Nada Atwa: A Path With Many Obstacles

"I hope one day to be that one Muslim doctor that can help other Muslim families. It’s hard to watch your loved ones go through an obstacle they mentally can’t control. It not only has affected my brother, but it has affected us all."

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Shayan Bawaney: Ending the War with My Identity

"I love my religion and my faith. I am proud to be a Muslim. I am proud to be an American.These parts of my identity that were once at war with each other now peacefully coexist, inspiring me to strike change in the heart of Muslim youth all across the country."

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News Updates


MALA Partners with Facebook to Host ‘Muslims In Tech’ Panel in Washington D.C.

On October 15, 2019, MALA launched the first in a series of panels focusing on Muslims in Tech in Washington DC.  The event co-sponsored by Facebook, and held at Facebook’s beautiful D.C. headquarters.  The panel focused on the personal experience and stories of Muslims in the tech industry.  Panelists included: Ahmed Flex Omar, Deputy Director […]

Oct 29, 2019

MALA’s 4 Annual Gala Receives Endorsement From Illinois Civic leaders: Gov. J.B. Pritzker, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Mayor Lori Lightfoot

As our 4th Annual Gala fast approaches, we are honored to announce that MALA has received formal endorsements from some of Illinois’ top decision-makers and leaders in the civic arena.   MALA’s gala has recieved endorsements and commendations from IL Governor J.B. Pritzker, IL Senator Tammy Duckworth, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.     We are honored […]

Oct 29, 2019

MALA Co-Hosts Panel on UNGA Sidelines: Eradicate FGM/C

September 19, 2019 On the sidelines of the 74th UNGA, MALA, There Is No Limit Foundation, and Kota Alliance hosted a panel event at the Center for Social Innovation. This event discussed and concentrated on strategies for the global eradication of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C). The panel also highlighted the commitment made worldwide to end […]

Sep 25, 2019
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