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.

 
Daniya Ahmed: Muslim OR American?

“Identity is not a group you choose and assimilate into; it is a fluid concept that involves a mixture of multiple identities. All I strive for is an honest identity, being true in what I believe and what I share.”

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Najy Sadig: The Duality of My Identity

“My identity is defined through its duality. Despite the challenges, I am grateful that my identity has enabled to not only love my beliefs and others, but most importantly- love myself.”

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Humayra Himel: Endeavors Of All Sorts

“However, in order to achieve my dreams, I had a lot of barriers to overcome. One such challenge is that most women in my culture don’t have higher education. Another challenge is that my family and I moved to the US during high-school with little knowledge of English, American culture, and the educational system.”

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Mustafa Al Shawaf: Within My Reach

“Having a disability is what sparked my dream to be a doctor. A doctor knows and understands the greatest gift from God–the human body–which has such special details that even a doctor learns with wonder.”

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Nada Atwa: A Path With Many Obstacles

“I hope one day to be that one Muslim doctor that can help other Muslim families. It’s hard to watch your loved ones go through an obstacle they mentally can’t control. It not only has affected my brother, but it has affected us all.”

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Shayan Bawaney: Ending the War with My Identity

“I love my religion and my faith. I am proud to be a Muslim. I am proud to be an American.These parts of my identity that were once at war with each other now peacefully coexist, inspiring me to strike change in the heart of Muslim youth all across the country.”

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Ali Hijazi: Challenges Through Adversities

“My journey growing with this this identity where my parents migrated here from a third world country is tough. My parents lacked knowledge about career advice, scholarships, applications, tests, etc. I always had to find out ways to better myself even when my parents did not know.”

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Nazifah Anjum: My Trip to Umrah

I define myself as a Muslim and my faith has been a constant reassurance throughout my life. That being said, there were still times I would have doubts about certain rules in Islam, or why some things were the way that they were. However, an experience that changed the way I perceive myself was when […]

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Neiha Lasharie: Iqra, The Command To Read

“The final evolution of my identity is both a culmination of and a complement to my Muslimness, my Pakistaniat, my feminism – I am a reader and a poet, and the combination thereof makes me an interpreter.”

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Maryam Laly: Space for Women, Space for Learning

Maryum’s story revolves around the pursuit of education and the drive to learn.  Her work in social justice seeks to empower women through advocacy and educational opportunity.  Here she discusses her journey to self-realization, actualization, and the never-ending pursuit of knowledge.   Like many in my generation, I was born during the war in Afghanistan […]

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