Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Julia Alimova: The Courage in Criticism

"I was born in Siberia, in a small town. The name of the town is Tobolsk, in the Tyumen region. People don't know about this culture in America at all, but we are a very big culture in Russia and we are Muslim."

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Nooran A: Reminiscing On Memories

"I didn't understand why I needed to learn a language that I didn't use at school. Looking back, I am so thankful for her persistence. Arabic has become an integral part of me."

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Najah Abdul-Qawiyy: Life Is Too Short to Be Fake

"I do like representing myself this way, like I do like representing myself as someone who's a part of something greater than me and to represent it in the most positive way."

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Dena Mekawi: Navigating Identity with Style and Resilience

"Growing up was sort of interesting because I'm a first generation American. So it was kind of a struggle between what my family says is right and the values we try to maintain versus the American lifestyle and how it is to live out here."

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Raihan Faroqui: Dying Before Dying

"My uncle died on September the 11th. If you visit the WTC Memorial, you will see his pictures. He is wearing a white tupi, a brown vest, and he is smiling back at you."

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Mona Sabbouri: Respecting Individuality

"I'm a New Yorker, I'm an American, I'm an Iranian, but I'm also a human. All the people in my life have made me who I am today."

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Zaher Sahloul: A Syrian American Doctor’s Journey

"Every Syrian dreams of the day that they will go back and try to rebuild what has been destroyed."

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Sadaf Ali: Sharing Space For Dignity and Autonomy

"What motivates me is a collective struggle of coming from communities where we are not welcomed for making choices for ourselves. I join current and future generations to stand against ostracization for any expression of any part of our identities."

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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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News Updates


MALA at GlobalMindED 2017 Conference

MALA’s co-founder and director Ahmed “Flex” Omar represented the organization at the conference. He moderated a panel titled “Learning for Access: Quality Education for All.”

Jul 10, 2017

MALA at the Library of Congress: July 24, 2017

The event celebrates this groundbreaking effort - and in the process spotlights Muslim Americans’ diversity, individuality, innovative contributions to mainstream American society, and assimilation as proud citizens.

Jul 03, 2017

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
twitttersMALA@MALANational