Our Storytellers

Muslim American Journeys

MALA’s Oral History Partnership with the Library of Congress

Personal stories can be a powerful catalyst for change – challenging stereotypes, building bridges, and inspiring action. We all have stories to tell: stories that deserve to be collected, conserved, and celebrated.
Muslim American Journeys is a program produced in partnership with the Library of Congress, providing a platform for Americans of Muslim heritage to share their individual stories
In 2020, MALA’s oral histories with the African American Muslim community have been archived into the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Every story recorded is archived at the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center. These stories are preserved and presented with dignity, serving as an educational resource for future generations to come. As a program that emphasizes belonging, “Journeys” aims to document diversity, inspire pride, and celebrate individuality. The broad range of stories in the collection challenges stereotypes and “essentialized” views of Muslims. Many immigrant storytellers share how democratic freedoms and economic opportunities empowered them to build new lives in America. “Muslim American Journeys” provides a platform where these and other voices can be fused into our national experience, presenting the richness of Muslim identity to the American public at large. A selection of stories from the collection are spotlighted below.

Featured Audio Stories

Halima grew up in Nigeria and always had a passion for running. Here, she tells us about her experiences in running marathons and being able to help improve the lives of women and children while raising money for charity.

Ridwan Oguntade was born and raised in Nigeria. Here, he discusses what it was like when he moved to Chicago, his interest in riding and building motorcycles, and how the motorcycle track helped him find a loving and supportive community in Chicago.
From the south side of Chicago, the eldest of her father’s 12 children and converted to Islam six years ago, Yaasha shares her Muslim American Journey about becoming an Art Educator and her passion in dancing. Words she lives by,”openess and audaucity.” – Yaasha Abraham
Bita Lak always dreamt of being an attorney. Here, she shares her journey of leaving Iran to come to the U.S to follow her dreams and of all the trials and tribulations she had to overcome along the way.
A Somali Muslim American who finds her passion in helping others as those who helped her and family when they came to the states. Farhiya shares her journey in finding her identity between two cultures and her new career as a Social Worker.
A legal and policy professional who is passionate about private- and public-sector solutions to improve people’s lives. Zain shares his story about finding the balance between helping others and a career in law.
From Mauritania to Chicago. Here, Lalla Dafa shares what it was like to be raised by her grandparents in Mauritania and how that helped her face the challenges that came when she moved to Chicago.

Featured Video Stories

The journey as a comedian and her perspective on the power of storytelling
The story of motherhood, not fitting in a box, and the power of storytelling
Dedication to pursue a career in technology despite social pressures

How to share your story?

The MALA team is always working on finding the most efficient way to help you celebrate, highlight, and share, your identity, heritage, and culture with the world. If you would like to participate in “Muslim American Journeys”, please contact us below.

Questions? Contact us at stories@malanational.org.

Scroll to Top