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.

Onaba Payab: From a War-Torn Country to Dialogues with Former First Ladies

“Growing up in a war-torn country, I never realized that one day my passion would take me to the US to moderate a discussion between former First Lady Laura Bush and then-First Lady Michelle Obama; or that I would be part of a delegation of Afghan women at the US Capitol to promote women’s inclusion in peace-building.”

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Makiz Nasirahmad: A Balance of Eastern and Western Values

“I was born in Balkh a historical province in northern Afghanistan home to the first proto-urban civilization in the area which arose during the 2nd millennium BC. I grew up in Moscow, Russia. I went to high school in Boston.”

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Tamer Abousoud: Exploring Opportunities Beyond Borders

“When I was in Egypt I just could no longer re-assimilate, and I felt like there was so much that was wrong with so many things there that I just couldn’t accept. There’s always a chance to course correct and try something else. That’s the beauty of America. No one’s going to get upset with you if you try something and it doesn’t work out. That’s a very unique thing.”

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Daniela Ramsey: Serving Through Belief

“My best friend growing up, my neighbor, she was Muslim. My childhood best friend. That’s what I knew and I said, you know what if I feel this way, you know I should be in this religion. So I started actually converting and practicing during college.”

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Amal Amaskane: From Paris, to Chicago- Letting Things Come Into Place

“I was born in one of the suburbs of Paris. I need to specify that, in France, “suburb” doesn’t have the same meaning that it has here in the US. It doesn’t have the affluence, and wealthy vibes that you guys associate with it here. So I grew up in a house project in the suburbs of Paris in France. Both of my parents are Moroccan, and they are proud to remain Moroccan with French resident cards.”

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Asad Zaman: Being Your Best Self

“Then, I applied for my residency training, and I matched in Chicago to the University of Chicago’s program at Weiss hospital and made the transition into Chicago.”

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Awatif Yahya: Breaking From the Norm

“I lived every day of my life with the utmost intention and determination to break from the norm. I wanted to show everyone another story for a Muslim woman, full of twists and turns. I wanted to leave bold, bright and inspirational footsteps for a different path for future generations of young Muslim women.”

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Samia Kemal: Raised by TV

Samia Kemal grew up in the leafy green haven of Connecticut. Surrounded by her mostly white classmates, she cultivated a dry sense of humor to make sense of her insulated world, and hungrily sought out media and pop culture as an escape. Here, she reflects on how her outspoken nature has fueled her career in […]

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month! Approximately one in eight women in the U.S. will experience invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. And in 2018, an estimated 266,120 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S., along with 63,960 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer. It’s […]

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Tamim Majeed: Hunger to Succeed

Tamim Majeed survived war and refugee camps; he pursued his education and nurtured his entrepreneurial spirit to move forward and find safety and opportunity for his family.   I was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, once called “the Garden of Asia,” surrounded by small mountainous valleys on all sides. Kabul is lively city, where you don’t […]

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