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.

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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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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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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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: 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: 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 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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