Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Megan Cort Bridging Cultures
Megan Cort: Bridging Cultures

Megan Cort recently returned from a language intensive in Amman, Jordan; she currently works for International Arts and Artists.   Growing up in a predominantly white, Christian, small town in western Massachusetts, I had very little knowledge of the Islamic faith. I still remember, quite vividly, someone discussing the concept of a pilgrimage to Mecca, […]

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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

Baktash Ahadi is currently an instructor at the Department of State’s Foreign Service Institute where he teaches diplomats about Afghanistan. Baktash holds degrees from The Johns Hopkins University and from Susquehanna University. He is on the boards of the Susquehanna University Executive Alumni Board, Friends of Afghanistan, and the Yellow Breeches Educational Center.    I […]

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

Dr. Laleh Bakhtiar, PhD, has a BA in History from Chatham College in Pennsylvania, an MA in Philosophy, an MA in Counseling Psychology and a Ph.D. in Educational Foundations. She is also a Nationally Certified Counselor. ​ Dr. Bakhtiar has been practising Islam for over 30 years under her teacher, Dr. Seyyed Hossein Nasr. She […]

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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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Farhana Shafi
Farhana Shafi: The Day Everything Changed

Farhana Shafi 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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Amal Amaskane
Amal Amaskane: Beyond the Box ‘Other’

Amal Amaskane 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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Fuad Faruque
Fuad Faruque: Defining Myself

Fuad Faruque 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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Farida Karim
Farida Karim: Amyn’s Sister

Farida Karim 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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Nadah Feteih Overcoming the Odds in the Tech Industry
Nadah Feteih: Overcoming the Odds in the Tech Industry

Nadah Feteih has loved solving puzzles since she was a child.  In her story, she talks about how this affinity for problem solving fostered a passion for computer science, and shares her perspective as a Muslim woman working in Tech.     Both of my parents were born and raised in Egypt.  My dad ended […]

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Nazhah Khawaja Respect yourself first and foremost
Nazhah Khawaja: Respect yourself first and foremost

Nazhah Khawajah shares her experiences navigating the Chicago school system as a young adult and finding fulfillment in her career, as well as in her personal life.  Her story is one of risk-taking, intuition, and self-advocacy.   I was born in Chicago, Illinois, right here in the city.  I remember a lot of play.  We […]

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Sohib Boundaoui Slipping Through the Cracks of Identity
Sohib Boundaoui: Slipping Through the Cracks of Identity

Sohib Boundaoui’s insight into the mind of a child of immigrants is both encouraging and eye-opening. Not only does he describe the trouble with rigid conservative cultural values and their implications, but he also offers a tangible solution.     I was born in Chicago, and I was born in a neighborhood called Bridgeview. Bridgeview […]

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Pious Ali: Using Faith as a Tool for Empowerment

"In the place where I grew up in Ghana, Muslims lived together with Christians (we did not have many Jews in that area) and we talked to each other. Whenever one would have a holy celebration, we would eat with each other, and participate in each other’s events. So, I decided to use what I have, which is my faith, to reach out to other people in the community."

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News Updates


MALA Launches Storytelling Partnerships for Vets, Homefront Heroes

MALA is proud to launch two new inititiatives in partnership with two outstanding institutions. These initiatives will preserve the oral histories of two overlapping communities: U.S. veterans across all conflicts, and the “homefront heroes” of World War II. MALA is honored to foster the recognition of Muslim Americans in the ranks of both. The first […]

Jan 14, 2019

MALA Honors Groundbreaking Yemeni-American Journalist

Rasheed Al-Nozili founded Yemeni American News, America’s leading Yemeni-American news source At MALA’s Third Annual Gala on November 6, 2018, MALA honored Rasheed Al-Nozili with MALA’s Community Builder Award for Journalism. Al-Nozili is the publisher of the Yemeni American Net website and the Yemeni American News, which was launched in 2008. The newspaper and website both publish […]

Nov 26, 2018

US End FGM/C Network Statement on Judge’s Decision in Michigan Case

The shocking and disappointing news of the decision on Tuesday, November 20th 2018 to invalidate the federal FGM/C law, which has led to the dismissal of several key charges against the two doctors and six others accused of subjecting nine girls to FGM/C in the historic FGM /C case in Michigan further validates that this issue even more prevalent in the United States, as nearly half a million women and girls face the threat of being cut without their consent. As a member of the US End FGM/C Network Steering Committee, we share the collective Network Statement in response to this case.

Nov 25, 2018
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