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.

Nadia Oweidat: A Hunger Strike Just To Get To College

“As a young, single tribal woman, I was pretty low in that pecking order, virtually invisible, and disenfranchised. Like most women, I was at the mercy and whims of the patriarchs who are, by law, responsible for me and my welfare.”

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Saadia Faruqi: There, Here, and Now

“Thus I grew up amidst this clash of modernization versus conservatism, old versus new, religion verses ego. My presentations taught me much about my fellow Americans, much about myself, and much about the world we live in today.”

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Mehmet Ali Sanlikol: Grammy-Nominated Composer

“My musical journey is also, in a way, my American journey. Perhaps it is a story that is not possible in any other place but here.”

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Raza Rizvi: Visiting the WTC in August of 2001

“The morning of September 11th, my bell rang and a fellow foreign student came over to tell me about the unthinkable. American society, the perception of Muslims living within America and elsewhere… everything changed that day.”

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Sophia Khan: My Journey to Watercolor Wanderlust

“The funny thing about learning more about yourself is that the more you do learn, the harder it becomes to stray from that vision of your genuine self.”

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Naila Amin: Queens Teenager Forced into Marriage

“The foster care system had no idea on what to do with a child like me. I was probably the first case they ever had where I was a child bride.”

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Alaa Basatneh: #ChicagoGirl for Freedom in Syria

“We’re in a dark and long tunnel, but our vision should remain focused on the light at the end: the light of freedom and pursuit of happiness.”

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S. Nadia Hussain: A Poem for My Son

“What has always been perceived as immigrant is now the citizenry. I look at my son in wonder at his mixed heritage and the legacy of those that came before him.”

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Pooyan Manoochehry: Via Film, Justice for Honor Violence Victims

“I always put my heart and soul into the films that I edit, and my goal is to touch the viewers’ hearts by telling and sharing a powerful story.”

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Farzeen Tariq: Legal Advocacy for Women’s Rights

“I refuse to accept that a sexual harassment victim has to stay quiet about the incident because it is supposedly ‘shameful.’ It is time for a change.”

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