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.

 
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: 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 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

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 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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