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.

Farah Harb: Finally Home

“But just as I was getting accustomed to the country and my friends and everything, we moved once again to America, which was probably our toughest and longest journey. We came here in 2009.”

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Tarik Khribech: Launching ‘Chore Relief’

“Being a guest in this country was about getting to know the culture; not necessarily how they talk and what they eat, but also how the financial world works and how the professional world works.”

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Ayat Albawi: A Painful Secret

“My new life in America is becoming greater over the passage of the days. I learned how to stand up for myself.”

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Sofia Charania: The Lens of Knowledge and Wisdom

“I believe that my name and its meaning have implicitly defined my identity since my childhood. This search for knowledge has been a life long identity journey for me and is how I define myself.”

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Laurel Hilbert: A Journey Towards Peace

“I used all available connecting resources to find stable housing, enroll in school, find employment, and become a peer mentor for others like me.”

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Fathima Shada: An Amalgamated World

“I had struggled with gender roles nearly all my life. I was a free, unrestrained American girl, but I seemed to be restrained by a culture grounded thousands of miles away – an orthodox Muslim culture that traditionally required me to cover myself, be obedient, and sit down and stay quiet.”

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Karim El-Araby: The Balance of Character

“Since arriving in northern Virginia, my understanding of my own identity has been clarified, as has my understanding of identity itself. I have thought about the many identities I use to describe myself: Egyptian, American, Muslim, twin brother, college student, aspiring architect, bilingual.”

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Asad Dandia: Seeking a Deeper Meaning

“My experiences up until now have taught me that my identities and experiences may seem like paradoxes, but they allow me to seamlessly maneuver between multiple worlds.”

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Twen Beyene: Home is Where the Heart is

“I became a better person through my struggles and through my happiness. Life allows us to grow up, and experiences shape us to be who we are.”

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Rayan Bahri: My Journey to Becoming a Humble Person

“My parents immigrated to the U.S. 32 years ago. They appreciate and cherish living in this country. The opportunities it has to offer are endless. What they left behind is no match for what this country has to offer.”

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