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.

 
Supna Zaidi Peery: Who Am I?

“We live in an age that wants to label us and box us in so we can be easily understood by the outside world. But, I am not simple. I refuse to be boxed in.”

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Isra Omar: Filling The Role Of A Legacy

“A Somali proverb: The absence of knowledge is the absence of light. Everyone has a light that shines during times of distress. That light was my grandfather. Not only was he a parental figure, but he was my friend.”

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Saleha Jabeen: Joining the United States Army

“Going back like this to me would mean emotional, spiritual, and intellectual suicide. So, I tried all my options and after three years from first begin introduced to the idea of joining the Army as a route to U.S. citizenship, I decided to take this noble route. I am proud to be serving the country I have been calling my home.”

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Yahya Mused: From College Deli to College Honors

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I realized that I had to start from scratch and forge a future for myself out of the nothingness that I was surrounded by at the time.”

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Monna Sabouri: Acting for Change

“We have so much power in this country. We as individuals have the power to change situations for the better.”

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Ermin Tale: Science or Religion? It’s Not One or the Other

“Growing up, people were always shocked when I told them I am Muslim. Their eyes would widen and I would get remarks such as, “But you’re white?” Comments like these seldom bothered me, I would explain to people that religion is colorblind. It is not limited to one ethnicity or group of people, but welcomes all, as it should.”

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Nihal Al Qawasmi: A Storyteller’s Story

“I still want people to acknowledge that I’m a human being and I represent myself and only myself when I walk out my front door everyday. What we’re doing at MissMuslim is essentially breaking down those walls within our own communities and beyond and making sure that people everywhere start getting comfortable with our presence — and accepting the fact that not all Muslim women are the same.”

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Dalia Shehata: Cherishing My Heritage; Following My Heart

“My grandparents were the ones who made the decision to leave Egypt and come to America for better opportunities and flourishing education for their families. They are the bravest individuals I know. When someone takes the initiative to start their life over in a new country, without knowledge of the customs or language, I truly believe that there is nothing more courageous.”

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Najah Abdul-Qawiyy: The Difficult Road That Led Me Here

“The way I am is fine, I do not need to change because of anybody else. Only I should be the one to dictate whether or not I should change.”

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Anup Desai: Be What Inspires You

“When I grew up in Staten Island, I was the only minority in my elementary and junior high school. And now when I go back to these schools you can see every color on the spectrum. Where I was the darker kid now I would probably be referred to as the one with “long hair” since color is no longer a defining characteristic. “

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