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.

Hanif Sufizada: Finding Stability Against the Odds

Hanif Sufizada shares his journey from poverty, war, and loss to earning a degree from Cornell — and then discovering that even an elite education is no guarantee of stability or employment. But through it all, he finds resilience in his Afghan heritage. I was born in Charbargh, a village in Laghman province in Afghanistan. […]

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Mohammad Hashim Pashtun: Finding True Leadership

Mohammad Hashim Pashtun describes his journey from displacement to belonging — and back to displacement, and finally belonging again.   I was born in Kandahar city, but only 6 months later, our family migrated to Quetta, Pakistan, a small town with a substantial minority of Afghan refugees. As a refugees in Pakistan, my father made […]

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Ahmad Shah Mobariz: Harder than a Stone

In this story, Ahmad Shah Mobraiz shares his story of a childhood scarred by the Taliban, followed by a journey of resilience and a passion for education in the face of deep hardship and tragedy — a journey that was illuminated by his grandmother’s proverb. My grandmother would always tell us one proverb: “A man […]

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Amina Khan: Finding Contentment in My Religious Identity

To spotlight and amplify Muslim American voices, join MALA’s campaign to elevate public dialogue on Muslim-American identity in the 21st Century. In the spirit of this inspiring episode and series, we asked you to share your story with us: what is it really like to be Muslim in America? Selected stories are shared by MALA and […]

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Izdihar Bailey: I Found the Best For Me

“I am a U.S. citizen, a registered voter, and an American Muslim. I’m a convert to Islam, from a military family, who now works in politics as a lobbyist – probably not what most people expect.”

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Masoud Juya: A Life in Service to Humanity

“I think undertaking the Ph.D. program at this time in my life is the most significant strategic goal I am pursuing to serve human and humanity in the long run. Service to humanity is the only path that if you die on, you would never regret, regardless of what religion you believe in.”

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Afrina Khan: Journey to Wholeness

Afrina Khan found her passion as a certified holistic health counselor. She trained in more than 100 different dietary theories, from all the new-age, raw food, and vegan movements to ancient traditions like Ayurveda and the work of Dr. Weston Price. She also trained in a variety of practical lifestyle coaching methods such as stress […]

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Kiran Ansari: Life Comes Full Circle with a Cyclical Ramadan

  Kiran Ansari shares her love for the varying Ramadan calendar.   I love how Ramadan comes at a different time each year. As Muslims follow the lunar calendar, Ramadan starts around ten days earlier every year. It may sound weird how this month-long holiday does not have a fixed date in our conventional Gregorian […]

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Vareesha Khan: Bringing Different Worlds Together

“But really, being someone who moved around a lot, you had to be flexible, adaptable, and observant of the world around you and the things that change from one place to the next. Coming from that experience at a young age really defined my next steps in life.”

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Hibaq Hassan: My American Journey

“My parents would remind me everyday about the significance of education and how fortunate I was to have the have the chance to explore educational opportunities.”

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