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.

 
Mohammadou Habib Abdul Abbas Diagne: Being Labeled As A Threat

“It was definitely a point when I began to experience not being in a fully immersed Muslim culture, or not being around the influence of my Dad. That’s the first time I started eating bacon, and you know, kind of pushing the envelope and exploring what it meant to not be in that immersive environment.”

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Kendyl Noor Aurora: Nurturing Connection Through Differences

“We’ve created a lot of titles and labels that have built barriers around ourselves as individuals and our Muslim community as a whole. There were a few years after reverting where I felt stuck in an awkward place, like none of the various pieces of my life fit together quite right.”

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Aya Razzaz: A Piece of America That Makes Me Proud

“So that’s ideally what I would like to be doing because I feel like because I’m half-American I owe it to myself to learn more about this country.”

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Behnaz Shafiei: Iranian Motocross Rider in the USA

“My efforts changed Iranian law to allow females to participate in motor racing and I am currently the only Iranian woman to hold a motorcycle racing permit.”

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Sahar Mohammadzadeh: Hearing Diversity by Listening to Hidden Voices

“If humanity is to be humble and respectful of different perspectives, if humanity is to bask in the breadth of experience, then humanity must be classified the universal race, regardless of the religion or culture that accompanies it.”

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Nazida Syed: Starting Over, Fighting for Change

“I want to make ways for women like myself who have been victims of domestic violence to be able to get back on their own feet, take control of their lives, and their images, their reputations in society, so they will never be looked down upon for leaving an abusive marriage.”

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Tahany Yassin: Launching ChiTown Photography

“I still continue learning because there is always room to grow. There are so many different techniques and effects a photographer can create with the vision they have set in their mind.”

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Sameena Mustafa: Taking My Seat at the Table

“After one of my shows, an Israeli woman approached me in tears saying how much my performance moved her. Art could bring people together.”

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Suraiya Rahman: Celebrate & Include Cultural Muslims

“I lost my personal faith, but not my heritage. Being a Muslim is more than just the god you pray to. It is identity, ritual, history, and culture. I have not lost any of those things.”

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Sunny Akomu Akhigbe: A Boy and His Dream

“A few weeks after I was born I was bundled from the city and then my mother, myself, and everything that she had was left behind in the city.”

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