Jun 16, 2020

Virtual Storytelling!

In light of the COVID-19 Pandemic, MALA, like many other organizations, has been forced to reimagine our programming for virtual audiences.  Part of this process has involved findng creative and unique ways to continue to collect and share the stories of Muslim Americans.  During the months past, MALA has launched a series of webinars and virtual community discussions that have brought in a number of storytellers, ranging from professional Muslim athletes, congressional representatives, corporate innovators, and inspiring artists.  These stories have been archived on MALA's Youtube Channel, and can be viewed for free at any time. 

Additionally, MALA has begun working with StoryCorps to coordinate virtual oral history interviews to be archived in the National Library of Congress.  If you would like to sign up to have your story recorded, send us an email at stories@MALAnational.org!

During these unprecedented times, MALA is more committed than ever to finding innovative and creative ways to share and amplify the voices of Muslim Americans.  We invite you to join us in this effort, and to help us empower a new generation of storytellers.  When we share our stories, we share our communities.     


Feb 25, 2020

Our Biggest Year Yet!

Razan Mikdashi, MALA Scholarship Recipient
Razan Mikdashi, MALA Scholarship Recipient

Going into the final week of the 2019-2020 application cycle, we have received a staggering number of amazing personal essays from MALA Scholarship applicants across the country.  This year, we are set to offer more scholarship awards than ever before, thanks to the generosity of our donors and the support of our community.  If you would like to apply for a MALA scholarship, or know someone else who does, this is your chance!  The application portal will close at 11:59pm Eastern on March 1, 2020. 

We are excited to begin reviewing applications, and sharing some of the amazing stories that we've already received.  When you give to the MALA College Scholarship Project, your contribution goes directly towards helping some of this amazing individuals pursue the education of their dreams.  We are always so impressed and in awe of the experiences, perspectives, and ideas that applicants share in their stories, like Razan Mikdashi, one of last year's recipients: 

"Although my cultural identity brings my attention to certain issues and influences my perspective, it is my personal identity that defines my actions.

Through my mother and father’s stories, I empathize with women who have come forward as victims of domestic violence. Recognizing a similar reality here in the U.S., I took action by creating Project Bond, a self-defense training program that empowers high school girls in my community, both physically and mentally. As I embark on this next phase in my life, I choose to study business, a field long dominated by men.

Beyond my passion for understanding the principles that transform exciting visions into a reality, my motivation in entering this field is rooted in my cultural background. With a thirst for knowledge, a commitment to resilience and an eagerness for change, my determination to forge a new path for Arab women fuels my journey."


Feb 18, 2020

Muslim American Journeys Project Continues to Grow

2020 is set to be the biggest year yet for the Muslim American Journeys project.  MALA's team is hard at work in Chicago, New York, and Washington D.C. collecting the stories of American Muslims, and archiving oral histories.  These stories illuminate the diversity within American Muslim communities, and showcase the range of contributions that Muslims continue to make to society every day.  Take, for example, one of our newest storytellers, Amir Badr, the CEO of Upkey

"I came to Chicago in May, so when it was still winter. I remember I wanted to cry on the inside because I couldn’t communicate with people. And it felt so bad not being able to ask questions due to being so shy. Part of the shyness was cultural, but part of it was also because I was just new. It was an incredible feeling though to be like oh my god I made it! But then also realizing that oh my god  I made it but I don’t know what to do now! I remember looking around at people and thinking that everything was so beautiful, everyone was kind of free and everyone was doing their own thing. Even though I was very scared and nervous, it felt like I was in pain. Deep deep down, I had this new hope that I am in the right place and that even though I’m about to cry now I am going to figure this out.

This was definitely a personal and passion kind of driven idea for me, everyone else that is at the Upkey family, you know we have grown the team to twenty-plus people now and we are just getting started. So, I don’t see this being a mere venture because I think there is an underdog in all of us. We all want to see a hard worker whether they are a student or professional, get the chance they deserve."


MALA has collected and archived hundreds of unique success stories like Amir's.  We are currently working to expand the Muslim American Journeys project even further by developing more multimedia approaches to storytelling.  With your support MALA can continue to collect and share these incredible stories.  Our journey has just begun.


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