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.

 
Hassan Majeed: Stigma-Buster, Physician, Art-Collector

“I am keenly aware of discrimination against people with mental health issues. I advocate for my patients and their families – and I want to spearhead a movement to raise awareness about mental health.”

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Kamila Ataee: Answering Identity Questions with a Smile

“While the questions may be disheartening, I have learned to answer them with a smile. I believe everyone is able to affect change in the world in her own way.”

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Shannon Melero: The Latino Muslim Experience

“I found myself lingering on the outskirts of the outside. There was no path into this tight knit sphere. So instead, I pulled a typical Puerto Rican move and made myself at home in the loudest manner possible.”

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Minoosh Zomordinia: Investigation of the ‘Self’

“I am tired of obligations, legislations, and rules to build moral philosophy. I stand up against the Do’s and Don’ts of political, religious, and traditional norms that have perpetrated violence.”

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Faizah Bhatti: Hopefully Someone, Somewhere Understands

“The more I treated babies, cried with families, and delved into science, the more humanistic I became. One might say that my faith strengthened, but not in the direction of the faith I was born into.”

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Omar Sediqe: Battling A Dual Identity

“But, there are times that I struggle in balancing traditions with my own personal values. I have since learnt that I can balance both my Afghan and American heritage.”

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Amaal Said: Capturing Beauty As A Healing Salve

“I’m the eldest daughter of parents who are immigrants. I’m Somali. My work is absolutely about filling a void. I keep asking myself, ‘if you don’t take the pictures then who will?”

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Mizanur Rahman: Globally Supporting Those With Disabilities

“I do not have a disability; hence I had to fight against the social stigma and even with my family to marry someone with one… my wife is the first visually impaired student to be accepted to my university to pursue a higher education.”

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Simi Rahman: Igniting The Struggle For Moderation

“And so, to understand the moderate mind, you have to envision it on a continuum from radical to middle, but the closer you get to liberal, there is a wall. It creeps up on you, in the condemnation of homosexuality, in the unequal treatment and subjugation of women, but it’s there.”

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Hanan Yahya: Defying All Preconceived Cultural Barriers

“The Yemeni culture is one of the oldest and most traditional cultures in the Middle­East, a beautiful attribute I’m proud of; however, the ancient traditions come with a conservative nature and concrete boundaries.”

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