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.

Omar Al-Fotihi: From Sana’a to Human Rights Watch

“My plans to help Yemen would have been impossible without living in the US. I hope all people get to experience true freedoms and opportunities in their countries.”

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Nang Attal: Teaching Afghan Girls to Write… in His Kitchen

“There will always be radicals, but we can’t let this stop us. I want to bring about international support for girls’ education. It is not an Afghan issue, it’s a global issue.”

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Sabah Fakhoury: Turning Pain Into Power

“It took me 35+ years of struggling to overcome what I saw as abuses within my own family, in relationships and in the workplace. As the oldest of five children in a traditional Arab Muslim household, I was the trailblazer.”

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Anab Mohamed: The Price To Pay To Be A Woman

“I live in the United States, California. I am originally from Sudan, but born and raised in Saudi Arabia, where for the first time it became apparent to me the huge price a woman has to pay for being a woman.”

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Hibo Wardere: FGM Is A Life Sentence

“It felt like my whole body was one fire. It was ‘whoosh’ and then you don’t know what to do. You can’t breathe. I screamed for my mother…”

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Nasheyah Dubaishi: Surviving Domestic Abuse in Buffalo

“All the time I was being suffocated all I could think of was… my five-year old son is watching this.”

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Arzo Ansary: To The Lighthouse Of Learning

“There are some details too disturbing to share – maybe one day I find the strength to tell them. For now though, it is enough to say I am free.”

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Saliha Rashid: Disability and Honor Abuse Didn’t Stop Me

“Having control over the basic aspects of my life is still something I find difficult to accept and believe. But at last the world is my oyster and I can follow my dreams.”

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Maher Gabra: The Demand for Freedom and Democracy

“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.”

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Humaira Ghilzai: A Secular Muslim in Mecca

“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.”

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