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.

 
Nadah Feteih: Overcoming the Odds in the Tech Industry

Nadah Feteih has loved solving puzzles since she was a child.  In her story, she talks about how this affinity for problem solving fostered a passion for computer science, and shares her perspective as a Muslim woman working in Tech.     Both of my parents were born and raised in Egypt.  My dad ended […]

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Nazhah Khawaja: Respect Yourself First and Foremost

“I would never have believed that I could be a mother and working, or you know, still trying to keep my individual identity present. And it’s a struggle sometimes. It’s a struggle to keep a balance of all of those things that make you who you are but parenting just gives you this patience and faith in yourself that you would never have believed existed within you.”

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Sohib Boundaoui: Slipping Through the Cracks of Identity

Sohib Boundaoui’s insight into the mind of a child of immigrants is both encouraging and eye-opening. His insight into the mind of a child of immigrants is both encouraging and eye-opening. He talks about how he struggles to understand his identity as Northern African in America and in his Arab community. He shares how he […]

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Pious Ali: Using Faith as a Tool for Empowerment

“In the place where I grew up in Ghana, Muslims lived together with Christians (we did not have many Jews in that area) and we talked to each other. Whenever one would have a holy celebration, we would eat with each other, and participate in each other’s events. So, I decided to use what I have, which is my faith, to reach out to other people in the community.”

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Yaasha Abraham: Calling On My Tribe

Yaasha Abraham talks about the way she reconciles strict religious ideas with the way she expresses herself artistically. She illustrates how much of an influence her religion plays in her understanding of the world and her individual art.   My name is Yaasha. I was not raised Muslim. I am what people now call a […]

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Muna Khalif: Designing to Empower

“As a First-generation Somali-American designer and activist, my goal was to usher in a new era of women’s fashion. It became quite apparent to me that it was difficult to find clothes that were seasonally on trend and that met religious and cultural requirements in an industry that already lacked representation.”

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Amal Hagisufi: Shattering Traditional Norms

“My upbringing as a Muslim woman in a western country meant that I was going to have to come to terms with the duality of my identity.”

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Ameer Khan: I Can Be Holy and Queer

“Upon introspection, my own identity was intersectional, having an immigrant family, being from the LGBT community, and being Muslim.”

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Al-Husein Madhany: What’s in a Name?

“That familiar exchange had been a fixture in my life from the time of the first Gulf War until Election Day 2008. Muslims had become the scary “other” for most Americans, but we existed in the popular imagination as inhabitants of that gray part of the globe beyond, say, France.”

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Narimon Safavi: To Chicago, From Tehran

“I was born in Tehran, Iran, 57 years ago, but my family had already resided in Chicago, Illinois. Early memories … I ended up coming from Tehran to Chicago directly, and was very very much impressed with the city and the way that the infrastructure was well built.”

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