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.

 
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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Barakat Olorunoje: No Limits As A Woman

“My journey begins at a younger age when I realized that I had a lot to my identity. My parents are originally from Nigeria and I was born in America, which already gave me two types of identities.”

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Salah Al-Mejri: From Tunisia to America- My Journey In The NBA

“There are many lessons to be learned from NBA players, but perhaps the most valuable is not only to enjoy what you’re doing, but to celebrate the fact that you have the chance to do it to begin with.”

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Stephanie Yousif: Growing Up Assyrian

“Also, the identity of Assyrians is controversial. I feel like if I was born in Iraq, but was an Assyrian I still would identify as an Iraqi.”

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Albert Pak: Cultivating Passion To Improve Humanity

“Pretty much ever since I was little I was always into drawing. When I was back in Uzbekistan I went to an art academy. When I was little, my dream was to become a doctor, but then I figured out that I like computers more.”

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