Our Stories

Personal stories can be a powerful catalyst for change – challenging stereotypes, building bridges, and inspiring action. In a country as diverse and complex as the United States, the identities of Muslim Americans remain layered and contested. We all have stories to tell: stories that deserve to be collected, conserved, and celebrated.

“Muslim American Journeys” is a MALA program produced in partnership with NPR’s StoryCorps and the Library of Congress, providing a platform for Americans of Muslim heritage to share their individual stories. By sharing a diverse range of narratives and experiences, “Journeys” aims to document oral history, inspire pride, and celebrate individuality. Every story recorded is officially archived in the Library of Congress, and outstanding stories are featured on National Public Radio.

Browse the collection of individuals’ stories below. If you would like to participate in “Muslim American Journeys,” here is information on how to submit your story and apply to participate in a recording session.

 
Gezim Kashtanjeva: An Immigrant’s Child’s Appreciation

“Being Albanian and being born in the U.S. has helped me grow and live side by side with people regardless of religious preference. One can only imagine the gratitude we pay to America for not allowing things to go further and for allowing refugees from our country into the States to seek asylum.”

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Hijab Ahmed: Always Shining Bold and Bright 

“To this day, I am extremely proud of myself for being brave enough to face so many people with an action so controversial. So many Muslims and non-Muslims speculated my faith and confronted me to question why I made this decision.”

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Fatima Traore: The City that Built Me

“We are all immigrant because we all come from somewhere, that’s what I believe. But over here, it’s freer. You do what you want to do, and what you can do, to make you who you are.”

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Teeb Lee: More Than Just a Man and Hmong Man

“In each one of us there is more to us than what society labels us as, and how we should act is up to each of us to redefine.”

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Mansa Aziz: Pick a Fight Worth Fighting

“Just like my ancestors before me, I am choosing a path where I only fight when necessary so I can achieve success.”

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Zubaidah Harun: Striving For Opportunities

“My family is Rohingya, which is from Myanmar, and I was born in Malaysia. I am a first generation student in my family — the first to be getting an education instead of marrying.”

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Makinoon Sami: A Move to Rediscovery

“I want to reach a point of my life where I am no longer insecure with being religious as part of my identity. So, when somebody asks me, “What do you identify as?” I want to proudly say, “a Muslim.”

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Zaynab Abdi: Nothing Gets in the Way of Education

“When I came to the United States, I witnessed many people talking about refugees’ issues without knowing what it really feels like to be one. I decided to take action and stand for myself and for many refugees and immigrants who are like me.”

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Bahram Sherwani: A Hyphenated American Identity 

“Thanks to my parents’ sacrifices and the compassion they taught me, freedom is a concept that I will never be able to take for granted.”

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Iqra Shafiq: And Still I Rise

“Yet, at the same time, I thought if I tackle these struggles and come to terms with cultural barriers, I could define who I am. I firmly believed, and continue to believe, my place was not in the kitchen, I was born to touch the lives of millions.”

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