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.
“Film and arts are still quite new in the Gulf. I think our society is still undecided whether they want to embrace this industry, but we are in a stage when this is needed. Through cinema, we can send a message to the world.”
“My friends and I are all so different and yet similar at the same time. None of are perfect Muslims, but we are Muslims. We put our faith in Allah, and we follow his teachings to the best we can. I still, and probably always will, make a million mistakes, but I can honestly say that I am proud to be a Muslim.”
“I have witnessed the power of communication to enable understanding as we create peace communications that challenge us to look beyond that which we think we know, so that we can finally break down those walls that separate us.”
“When I arrived to United States everything was strange for me. I felt like I was born again. I tried to transform myself socially, but it was really hard. Still, I could breathe because I was breathing new air.”
“I have been judged for most of my life and unfortunately it has mainly been by my own community. I don’t necessarily relate to the stereotypical image of a Muslim woman, but I am still a dedicated Muslim. I am not covered. I fast during Ramadan but I don’t always pray. I still count.”
“Stemming from an observant Muslim background, I still adhere to the principles of my religion and follow it to the best of my abilities. The United States has given me the opportunity to not only be an observant Muslim woman, but also one that is educated in modern sciences and art.”