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.
At a young age, Zena and Mena Nasiri realized that their community libraries did not have books that represented Muslim Women. In an effort to change this, and to enrich other community libraries with books that focused on Muslim women in story, they founded Girls of the Crescent, a nonprofit organization that collects and distributes […]
“As a result, I crossed the Atlantic and integrated into American society. Now, I see my community as something mobile. A space not a place. It is connected more with the people rather than a specific geographical location.”
“I wanted people to look at me as an example that not all people from the Middle East are hateful and violent people, that the thousands of immigrants like myself weren’t corrupting American society but making it stronger and more beautiful. I also wanted to show my parents that all the struggles and hardships that they went through weren’t in vain.”
“I chose to hide my Islamic side because it was not accepted in my society. I started to realize that there was nothing wrong with me loving the side of myself that was born in a dynamic culture, spoke more than two languages or celebrated Ramadan because no matter how hard I tried to hide it from the public, it was the side of me I saw whenever I would look in a mirror.”
“It was that thought that led me to wear my hijab as a retaliation to their hate and not just as a representation of my faith. Now while that has changed now, the struggle I went through to try and validify myself to everyone and essentially, myself was agonizing.”
Kara Lozier lives in Vermont and is the founder of ROYA – Resources of Young Afghans, through which she has been counseling, mentoring and supporting young Afghans in various ways. From 2006-2011, she served as a community coordinator for mostly Muslim exchange students from countries in Africa, Asia, Central Asia, Europe, and Eastern Europe. I […]
Zoha is a recipent of the Fawaz Kannout Memorial Scholarship Fund. Awarded in conjunction with the MALA Scholarship Program, this Scholarship recognizes compassionate and ambitious individuals who are committed to strengthening and serving their communities through cultural engagement, inclusive discourse, and progressive thought.To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here. As I walked down […]
Sarah is a recipient of the Fawaz Kannout Memorial Scholarship Fund. Given in conjunction with the MALA Scholarship Program, this scholarship recognizes compassionate and ambitious individuals who are committed to strengthening and serving their communities through cultural engagement, inclusive discourse, and progressive thought. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship Opportunities, click here. Being in a […]
Semira is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program. In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship opportunities, click here. My parents wanted a son as their first child and fortunately for one week, their […]
Is a recipient of the 2018-2019 MALA Scholarship Program. In accordance with MALA’s mission, this program awards scholarships to individuals demonstrate ambition, integrity, and leadership through the art of storytelling. To learn more about MALA’s Scholarship opportunities, click here. A family trip to Yemen was exactly what my dad thought we needed to keep in […]