Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Farah Harb: Finally Home

"But just as I was getting accustomed to the country and my friends and everything, we moved once again to America, which was probably our toughest and longest journey. We came here in 2009."

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Tarik Khribech: Launching ‘Chore Relief’

"Being a guest in this country was about getting to know the culture; not necessarily how they talk and what they eat, but also how the financial world works and how the professional world works."

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Ayat Albawi: A Painful Secret

"My new life in America is becoming greater over the passage of the days. I learned how to stand up for myself."

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Sofia Charania: The Lens of Knowledge and Wisdom

"I believe that my name and its meaning have implicitly defined my identity since my childhood. This search for knowledge has been a life long identity journey for me and is how I define myself."

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Laurel Hilbert: A Journey Towards Peace

"I used all available connecting resources to find stable housing, enroll in school, find employment, and become a peer mentor for others like me."

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Fathima Shada: An Amalgamated World

"I had struggled with gender roles nearly all my life. I was a free, unrestrained American girl, but I seemed to be restrained by a culture grounded thousands of miles away – an orthodox Muslim culture that traditionally required me to cover myself, be obedient, and sit down and stay quiet."

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Karim El-Araby: The Balance of Character

"Since arriving in northern Virginia, my understanding of my own identity has been clarified, as has my understanding of identity itself. I have thought about the many identities I use to describe myself: Egyptian, American, Muslim, twin brother, college student, aspiring architect, bilingual."

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Asad Dandia: Seeking a Deeper Meaning

"My experiences up until now have taught me that my identities and experiences may seem like paradoxes, but they allow me to seamlessly maneuver between multiple worlds."

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Twen Beyene: Home is Where the Heart is

“I became a better person through my struggles and through my happiness. Life allows us to grow up, and experiences shape us to be who we are.”

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Rayan Bahri: My Journey to Becoming a Humble Person

"My parents immigrated to the U.S. 32 years ago. They appreciate and cherish living in this country. The opportunities it has to offer are endless. What they left behind is no match for what this country has to offer."

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Maryia Karniyenka: A Chance to Achieve

"America has given me the most important gift of all, the opportunity to become a physician. It will take hard work, but the only person who is able to help me to achieve this goal is myself."

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Sofia Babool: The Hyphen

"Today, I no longer consider myself as solely American, or only Muslim, or only a scientist or only an artist, but rather I see myself as a beautiful canvas, brushing strokes of my passions and religious identity every day."

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Zagham Chaudry: A Powerful Voice Can’t Be Discouraged

“Yes, there were bullies, but there were also those who stood up to those bullies with me. Yes, there was unconstitutional spying, but there were also organizations like MALA that stood with American Muslims.”

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Assita Barro: The Memory of Something Great

"I saw that many people in my country did not have access to basic needs like food and medical care. When we moved back to America, these experiences drove me to take advantage of every opportunity because I was conscious of how thankful many people would be to be in my situation."

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Taimi Hasanbek: Staying on the Path of My Dreams

"In those two years, I witnessed hunger, homelessness and despair. I promised myself back then that I will not waste any chance to achieve my dream. I believed that this chance was given to me to correct my life path, and I’ve been working on enriching that path since I arrived."

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Shabeena Sharak: Finding Myself Through Persistence

“When I introduce myself to people, I say my name with confidence because I want my peers and professors to know who I am and what I am capable of.”

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News Updates


MALA Honors Malik Yusef for Black History Month

On February 22, 2018, Malik will share his incredible personal story, from his humble beginnings in Chicago to becoming a six time Grammy Award winner. He will be joined the WeWork Grant Park stage by Narimon Safavi, the Chicago based Iranian-American entrepreneur who is also a contributor and analyst for the radio program Worldview on WBEZ.

Feb 22, 2018

2018 ‘Muslim American Journeys’ Scholarship Contest Recipients

We would like to offer our congratulations to this year's scholarship recipients, and our deep appreciation to all of those who sent in personal essays; together, these stories are a beautiful illustration of the tenacity, struggle, and triumph that is so deeply etched into the social fabric of America.

Feb 01, 2018

MALA Recognized as a Vetted Organization by GlobalGiving

In 2018, MALA is excited to continue our partnership as a vetted organization with GlobalGiving. Over the past year, MALA has been actively engaged in the GlobalGiving community, raising over $10,000 in generous donations.

Jan 26, 2018
twitttersMALA@MALANational