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.
“My dad has been the biggest champion behind many of my successes. I have one sister and three brothers. My dad never made us feel that our genders mattered when it came to his expectations of us. I’ve carried that with me throughout my life. I never expect any special treatment because of my gender and I haven’t come across any obstacles, so far, because of it.”
“So instead I will talk about how the combination of tough, sad times, along with good, happy times have affected me and changed my perspective on life. I plan to be the change I want to see in this world.”
“I guess I’ll start with family because my biggest struggle is definitely being a Bengali American coming from a traditional South Asian background. If I can make it through this struggle and see the other side of it, I’ll be in a position where I can show kids that this can be done before their parents tell them that it can’t.”
“I’m proud to wear the hijab and to be an American Muslim. It’s a part of my identity that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. Although I live in a constant subconscious state of worry, paranoia and fear, my pride tops it all without a doubt.”