Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Mehak Hafeez: Women

"These are the women who ignited the light in my life nd told me, 'We are in this together'. Now I am one of them."

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Zain Jinnah
Zain Jinnah: Thriving on Different

Zain Jinnah is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA story collection. Personal […]

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Aisha Malik
Aisha Malik: Freedom Means Human Development

Aisha Malik is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA story collection. Personal […]

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Sadaf Jaffer
Sadaf Jaffer: Finding Common Humanity

Sadaf Jaffer is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA story collection. Personal […]

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Aqsa Sukhera
Aqsa Sukhera: Keeping Heritage Alive

Aqsa Sukhera is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA story collection. Personal […]

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Nausheen Rajan
Nausheen Rajan: Navigating Identity

Nausheen Rajan is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in monthly digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA story […]

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Mohammed Maaz Rehan
Mohammed Maaz Rehan: Striving for Impact

Mohammed Maaz Rehan is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA story […]

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Salma Echahly
Salma Echahly: Embracing My Past, Present, and My Future

Salma Echahly is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in monthly digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA story […]

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Megan Cort Bridging Cultures
Megan Cort: Respecting and Appreciating Differences and Similarities

"I have recently returned from my third trip to Jordan. As I got to finally communicate with locals in their language, learn about their culture, and experience their day-to-day lives, I realized how so different and yet very similar we all are. Despite our differences in race, religion, language, and cultural, deep down we are all the same."

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Ramiz Shaikh
Ramiz Shaikh: Finding a Place in the Melting Pot

Ramiz Shaikh shares his journey from growing up as a Muslim in Hindu-majority India to exploring his identity in the melting pot of America.   I was born in Ahmedabad, India, and spent most of my teenage and adult life in Great Barrington, a small town in Southern Berkshire, Massachusetts. My family lived in an […]

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Baktash Ahadi Serving the Greater Good
Baktash Ahadi: Serving the Greater Good

"Serving America in the country of my birth proved to be one of the proudest and most valuable experiences of my life. I had the honor of serving alongside brave American and Afghan soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice to bring peace to Afghanistan. I have since made it my moral obligation to continue to serve people and causes that matter most to me."

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Laleh Bakhtiar I Follow the Religion of Love
Laleh Bakhtiar: I Follow the Religion of Love

"Not having considered going back to college, it suddenly felt as if that was exactly what I needed to do. I enrolled in graduate school. I was to earn two MAs, one in Philosophy with a Concentration in Religious Studies and one in Counseling Psychology. This, then led to a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology which I completed in 1992 at the age of fifty-five."

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Lama Aljarallah
Lama Al Jarallah: Finding Self-Love and Perseverance

Lama Al Jarallah shares her journey to finding a community in America that “nourished and encouraged” her.  In her professional life, she is dedicated to building an environment of inclusive cultural diversity, personal growth, efficiency, and communication.   I was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where I grew up until my early teens. After a […]

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Zeina Mohammed
Zeina Mohammed: The Anxiety of Identity

Zeina Mohammed is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in monthly digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA […]

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Rahima Dosani
Rahima Dosani: Finding My Voice

Rahima Dosani is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in monthly digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA […]

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Isra Omar
Isra Omar: Reconciling the past with the present

Isra Omar is a member of the 2018-19 MALA Young Leaders Fellowship. Fellows participate in monthly digital seminars, dinner discussions, and other MALA events. As part of the program, Fellows reflect on their multiple layers of identities – as daughters, sons, professionals, athletes, and so much more – and share those reflections into the MALA […]

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News Updates


Looking In, Speaking Out: Commemorating the Khojaly Tragedy- NYC

The Khojaly Tragedy occurred on 26 February 1992 when Armenian military forces killed 613 Azerbaijani citizens in the town of Khojaly, Azerbaijan. This year, MALA and ASF will commemorate Khojaly by creating a space for learning, remembrance, and dialogue about ending Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide of all kinds.

Feb 08, 2019

MALA Celebrates Opening Night of Festival of Films from Iran in Chicago

MALA (Muslim American Leadership Alliance) was delighted to be a part of a special screening of Maryam Sepehri's film, Mouth Harp in a Minor Key: Hamid Naficy In/On Exile. The film was screened as a part of the Festival of Films From Iran at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St., Chicago IL) on February 2, 2019, 8:00pm CST.

Feb 07, 2019

MALA at the UNCSW 63rd Session: Addressing FGM in the USA- Safeguarding Survivors and Potential Victims

MALA will host a parallel event on "Addressing FGM in the USA: Safeguarding Survivors and Potential Victims." This panel will take place as part of the 63rd annual meeting of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Feb 07, 2019
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