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.
“In Egypt I regularly spoke about liberalism, human rights, equality, child rights, LGBT rights, and more. Since arriving in America, I have been able to continuously witness the living, breathing applications of these values.”
“In my two-week journey I met pilgrims who were dogmatically going through the motions and others who were busy finding mistakes in what others were doing and going out of their way to educate everyone on the “right way” of being a Muslim.”
“It was really difficult to grow up as a refugee, in addition to being fatherless. I keenly remember Parents Day, which was celebrated in my elementary school. I remained standing alone and lost. It was a cruel holiday.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”