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.

Dena Mekawi: Navigating Identity with Style and Resilience

“Growing up was sort of interesting because I’m a first generation American. So it was kind of a struggle between what my family says is right and the values we try to maintain versus the American lifestyle and how it is to live out here.”

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Raihan Faroqui: Dying Before Dying

“My uncle died on September the 11th. If you visit the WTC Memorial, you will see his pictures. He is wearing a white tupi, a brown vest, and he is smiling back at you.”

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Mona Sabbouri: Respecting Individuality

“I’m a New Yorker, I’m an American, I’m an Iranian, but I’m also a human. All the people in my life have made me who I am today.”

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Zaher Sahloul: A Syrian American Doctor’s Journey

“Every Syrian dreams of the day that they will go back and try to rebuild what has been destroyed.”

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Sadaf Ali: Sharing Space For Dignity and Autonomy

“What motivates me is a collective struggle of coming from communities where we are not welcomed for making choices for ourselves. I join current and future generations to stand against ostracization for any expression of any part of our identities.”

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Marina Ali: Accepting and Appreciating My Poor Immigrant Past

“It took me a while to reclaim my past in poverty. These days, I embrace my past. I talk, dress and act how I want to, and these things don’t determine my worth as a person.”

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Sohail Hashmi: Reconciling Differences Between Cultures

“There’s a lot of need for reform, especially for women’s rights. You don’t have a society that is moving forward, you have a society that’s mired in the past.”

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Hira Umer: Baking Towards A Breakthrough

“Cultural taboo and judgmental people aside, I focused just on my son and my business. Having a new business is challenging, being a single mom is challenging, combine the two and you have double the challenges.”

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Mohammad J. Rahimi: Law, Justice, and the American Dream

“My passion for serving people and fighting for peace, human rights, and democracy only grew during my time in the United States. It was not an easy move by any means, however.”

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Sara Khan: Living A Generosity Driven Existence

“I would most like to be remembered as someone that was generous and gave back to those around me. I don’t want a life of a glamour, but a real, honest, generosity and love-driven existence.”

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