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.

Zuhirah Khaldun-Diarra: Building Bridges of Communication

“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.”

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Mohammad Ali Tarokh: Fleeing for Freedom

“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.”

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Fadoua Massat: Going Undercover for Change

“Power, control, and misogyny defeated democracy and human rights. Injustice and hopelessness prevailed, and I knew that I had to leave. The only weapon and chance I had was to receive an education.”

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Jenan Matari: Carving Out A New Space

“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.”

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Nahid Akhtar: Do More Than Learn, Pursue Your Dreams

“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.”

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Yusef Amin: A Poem About My Journey

“Let’s redefine worth. Let’s establish the United States of Earth. Let’s put pen to paper potential with precision.”

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Selma Saidane: Transcending Labels, A French-Tunisian in Chicago

“Because of my globalist view of myself and people around me, I prefer not to be labelled anything. My identity is unique to me.”

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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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