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.

 
Amir Badr: The Ultimate Underdog

  Amir discusses the struggles that he had to go through during his journey of leaving Tehran for a more free and uplifting state of mind and country.    I was born in Tehran, Iran, which is where my journey started. There are a bunch of things that if I close my eyes I remember […]

Read this story

Samar Haider: The Maxim I Chose to Live By

Samar describes her passion for healthcare, and discusses the obstacles and opportunities that have guided her desire to help people.   His voice was barely audible through the Skype online phone call, but I could easily tell he was weaker than before. I asked my uncle how he was feeling, knowing fully that his answer would […]

Read this story

Sawera Choudary: At the Edge of Dawn

“Every morning was a cheerful invitation to make my life of equal simplicity, and I may say innocence, with Nature herself.”                      -Henry David Thoreau.   I am a morning person. Something about the dark sky before the break of dawn gives me a sense of […]

Read this story

Hikmah Okoya: Wisdom

Hikma describes her journey to self-acceptance and empowerment as a Black Muslim woman in the U.S.     Black (\blak\) Adjective : The opposite of white. A pigmentation color too dark to be considered beautiful. The color of bark after it has been burned by fire. The color people here in America where to funerals. The […]

Read this story

Fanta N’Diasseny: A Girl With a Dream

Fanta immigrated to the United States at the age of eight.  Her story outlines her triumphs, and her dedication to education as a cherished American value.   Life isn’t about finding yourself or figuring out what separates you from everyone else, it’s about all the different challenges and obstacles you’ve overcome that have helped you get […]

Read this story

Subhana Ahmed: Hungry

Subhana reflects on her struggles with body image, and describes how she forged her own path to self-discipline, confidence, and good health.      Ten more minutes until sunset. The lingering aroma of the crispy naan bread and chicken curry encompassed the air. The clock finally struck eight o’clock and the adhan called to prayer. […]

Read this story

Nooran Alhamdan: I Am My Own Superwoman

Nooran describes her struggle to reconcile two identities growing up in a small New Hampshire town.  Her story speaks to the power of confidence, perseverance, and heritage.   I had an innocent childhood. I never saw a difference between the little girl at home who spoke Arabic with her mother and climbed onto my father’s back […]

Read this story

Mahreen Ansari: To Be a Pakistani-American in White America

Mahreen reflects on the complicated nature of intersecting identities.  In her stories, she remembers formative incidents of prejudice, friendship, and learning as she developed her own identity as a Pakistani American.   The smell of curry and other spices waft through my home and cling to my hair, giving it an ethnic smell that everyone at […]

Read this story

Farah Alkurdy: Out of Hardship, Pride.

When her mother fell ill, Farah become increasingly aware of stereotypes and prejudices as her family sought medical care.  Her story describes how this experience brought strength, confidence, and growth.    As a Middle Eastern, Muslim individual growing up in America with parents who didn’t speak English as their first language, my identity has evolved […]

Read this story

Rewan Abdelwahab: The Creature

Rewan discusses her journey from fear, to pride, to activism as a Muslim woman.  Her story illustrates the power of bravery and persistence in the face of fear and terror.   Temporarily paralyzed, I stared into the creature’s feral eyes and feared for my life. My body trembled as it approached me viciously. Its owner stood […]

Read this story