Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

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Hayder Salam: Change Begins Through Accountability

"It’s okay to ask others to help you, but it’s not okay to ask for other person to do your own work. You need to be the change. You shouldn’t wait and sit around in your place and waiting for someone to do the change for you."

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Sabah Fakhoury: Breaking The Cycle Of Oppression

"We have to empower ourselves to make our own life choices whether marriage, the choice of our mate will be, children when we will have them, if we will have them, our careers, our contributions to the society and what are divine purposes."

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Yousef Askar: Holding Onto Memories

"Everything in life takes work and perseverance. Without my parents I wouldn’t be anything. I wouldn’t be where I am today."

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Sabina Hajdarovic: Garnering Confidence In My Identity

"Despite not looking like a ‘typical Muslim’ in the US, I was able to grow more confident in my faith background and express who I am to others because I felt content and did not let stereotypes inflict upon me anymore."

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Noor Jebreal: Paving My Way

"I mean this is so cliché but I really do just want to see more kindness in the world and I want people to preserve their roots and where they come from."

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Yosr Chaouch: Fitting Outside The Norm

"No matter what religion they come from, not matter what race, no matter what language they speak, no matter what is their sexual orientation, we have to accept every single person."

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Warren Kundis: Finding Belonging Through Faith and Justice

"I was actually born in Aurora, Colorado, and that was again in 1955. I am half Mexican, I am half Russian, and yet I never learned a lot about those cultures, but that is not really part of my basic identity."

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Hanouf Saleh: A Saudi Woman’s Perspective

"I really have hope that one day Saudi Arabia is not going to be the way it is and one day our voices will be heard and everything will change and the youth in Saudi Arabia will be shining and everyone will know what we are capable of."

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Jonathan Warkentin: Appreciating Diversity and Celebrating Humanity

"Though at times circumstances do not bring people of different backgrounds into close personal contact, through sharing stories it is still possible to foster an understanding of others and, despite physical boundaries, meet people."

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Naila Amin: Surviving Child Marriage In The Name of Honor

"No one can replace your parents, but at the end of the day you have to stand up for yourself. This is America, it’s 2015, we’ve been to the moon, why are we having forced marriages? Why should you be forced to marry someone?"

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Sherjeel Hassan: Justice, Guidance, and Belonging

"There’s either you’re not religious at all, or you’re religious beyond belief. And I’m just in that middle."

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Omer Itani: Respecting Differences in Opinions

"I think the most important thing is to hear others - to actually listen; to actually listen and be open-minded. Like when I went to my family, I discovered that there’s no right opinion. There are different opinions and we should see each other’s opinions."

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Samer Owaida: Solidarity Through Differences

"I just want to say that I am very proud of who I am, ad I’m very proud of how far I’ve made it. And I plan to go so much farther. Hopefully someday when people meet up with me, the ones that are like me, there will be a community for them because there isn’t one for me right now."

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Patricia Fernandez: The Power of Stories For Social Advocacy

"Storytelling has always been a passion of mine, and I believe in the power of individual stories. Prejudice and hate crimes are things that I always heard about on the news, but I, a fairly white-looking Hispanic Catholic, had never really experienced that personally."

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Elishah Virani: Anything Can Happen. Anything Can Be.

" I grew up speaking English, living far away from any mosques, and celebrating occasions like Christmas and Thanksgiving with all my classmates, so it was no surprise that I was struggling with my cultural identity."

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Kendall Wilson: Pushing Through To Make A Difference

"This has made me realize that I need to do what I want in my life that will help me to be a progressive individual. I also came to the understanding that everything happens for a reason so I have to make the best of the situations at hand."

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News Updates


MALA Recruits at the Loyola University’s Job, Internship and Service Fair

In collaboration with Loyola University, MALA encourages the practices of personal reflection and intensive exploration of the market place through research and experience, believing that career satisfaction is born of an authentic understanding of the self and the needs of the world.

Sep 14, 2016

MALA and Jane Addams Hull House Museum Present “SHE POWER RISING”

Jane Addams Museum and MALA are pleased to extend a series of programs and events to the community, particularly relating to the empowerment of women and girls.

Sep 09, 2016

Chicago Screening of THE PEOPLE’S GIRLS

Join MALA, the Illinois Humanities Council, and the UN Association in Chicago on International Day of the Girl for the screening of the award-winning documentary The People's Girls بنات الناس, which investigates the issue of sexual harassment in Egypt.

Sep 09, 2016
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