Our Stories

Click portraits below to follow each individual’s journey.

Bushra Amiwala
Bushra Amiwala: What I Learned in My Campaign for Public Office

Bushra Amiwala is a sophomore at DePaul University majoring in marketing and finance with a double minor in community service studies and public policy studies. She has been an active community volunteer and member of the Skokie and Rogers Park community through various non-for-profit work and organizations. Bushra Amiwala is a scholar, social activist, and […]

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Lisa Gunderson Chicago Mompreneur
Chicago Mompreneur: Lisa Gunderson

Every May, we dedicate the day to celebrating mothers and their unconditional love and support (even though they deserve to be celebrated every day!). However, women should never be defined solely by motherhood: all their passions and achievements should be highlighted and recognized. On Wednesday, June 6, MALA will host Chicago Mompreneurs to do exactly this […]

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Kiran Rasul on Ramadan
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
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
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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Aamir Hussain
Aamir Hussain: Shanti and Salaam

"I realized that my identity as an Indian Muslim made me a “cultural bridge” of sorts between the majority of Indians who are Hindu and American Muslims, who consist of a wide array of ethnic groups. I credit my parents for refusing to give into tribalism and religious paternalism, and encouraging me to respect and learn about other religions."

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Lina Mohammed
Lina Mohammed: A Muslim Ethiopian American’s Journey to Success

"I want to change the global perception on the media that Muslim and African American are oppressed, depressed, and repressed in society when it comes to having a voice."

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Somann Irani
Somann Irani: Giving it One Hundred and Ten Percent

"I am very happy and lucky to be able to find a career or a calling that is going to be able to give me financial success, but also that I really enjoy."

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Clyde Amin: The Ability To Create Change

"My advice to young people is that the time that you are living in is the time that you are prepared to live in."

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I am an FGM Survivor
I Said It Loudly: I Am An FGM Survivor

"My body was not supposed to be violated in this severe way, nor was my soul. Yet, both happened. But I am comforted in knowing that there are others I can talk to who understand my pain."

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Najifa Hossain: Freedom, As West Encounters East

"Today, I know that the two separate sides of me were never separate at all; they are the same. They are American. They are Muslim. They are me."

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Maiem Alam
Maiem Alam: The Depth of Immigration

“Others tend to see your results and envy your outcomes, but they fail to take notice of the amount of hard work and sacrifices you have made to get where you stand today.”

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Sonia Sultan: America – The Land of Opportunities and Freedom

"This country never failed to surprise me by showing the generous amount of human, constitutional, and civil rights citizens of America have and how much power and independence an individual could have in this country."

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Shahbab Ahmed: The Land of Opportunities

"The civil and organized environment in America is a stark contrast to the pandemonium that I had gotten used to in Bangladesh. I feel that there is order in this new land whereas there was always chaos in my previous home. America is not just the land of opportunities, it is the land of possibilities."

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Halima Halima Hagi-Mohamed
Halima Hagi-Mohamed: Finding “Amilah”

"As a Black, Muslim and female I’m faced with so much. Last year I published my first book of short stories titled, Amilah. It’s an anthology of fictional short stories dealing with the lives of Somali-Americans."

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Mohamed Sanwidi: An Appreciation For Life

"Reflecting on my life in Burkina Faso, I realized my current life is amazing even without Jordan’s, or an Xbox, or the latest iPhone. Living in an underdeveloped country made me appreciate the American life and the opportunities it has to offer."

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News Updates


MALA Partners on Ramadan Story Guide

  Include the entire family and promote community dialogue with storytime MALA is thrilled to partner with publisher KitaabWorld on a simple guide for parents and educators on hosting a Ramadan event for children! KitaabWorld publishes a beautiful collection of books geared towards everyone from toddlers to young adults. Their Ramadan collection includes everyone’s favorite monkey […]

May 07, 2018

MALA Launches First Community Builders Council

Council convenes leaders and core supporters to strengthen MALA programming On April 20, MALA convened its first Community Builders Council meeting over luncheon at The Metropolitan in Chicago. Attendees included MALA’s core supporters and community leaders from across the greater Chicago area. Many thanks to this glamorous members-only space at the top of Willis Tower […]

May 07, 2018

MALA Hosts NatGeo Screening and Conversation

  MALA Storytellers Reflect on Being “the Muslim Next Door” On April 11, MALA hosted a pre-air screening of “The Muslim Next Door,” an installment in Katie Couric’s National Geographic docuseries, AMERICA INSIDE OUT. In the episode, Couric explored the stories of Muslim Americans in today’s America. The screening was followed by an impressive panel of […]

May 07, 2018
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