Anwar Collection of Muslim Voices Archives - StoryCorps

A Father And Imam Records a Love Letter to His Family

Sohaib Sultan was an Imam and Chaplain at Princeton University when he and his wife, Arshe Ahmed, learned that they were about to become parents. After more than a decade struggling to conceive, the couple decided to adopt. 

Arshe Ahmed, Radiyya and Sohaib Sultan, celebrating their first Eid together on Sept 1, 2017, in Hamilton, NJ. Photo Courtesy of Arshe Ahmed.

Their dreams of building a family came true when they learned their daughter, Radiyya, would be arriving from Pakistan. But when Radiyya was 3 years old, Sohaib was diagnosed with cancer. He and Arshe came to StoryCorps to reflect on that time.

Arshe Ahmed and Radiyya at Sohaib’s graveside on the anniversary of his death, April 16, 2023 at Greenwood Cemetery in Hamilton NJ. Photo courtesy of Arshe Ahmed.

Top Photo: Arshe Ahmed, Radiyya, and Sohaib Sultan at Spring Lake Beach, New Jersey on August 30, 2020. Photo Courtesy of Arshe Ahmed. 

This broadcast is supported in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the American people, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

This interview is part of the Anwar Collection of Muslim Voices and Tapestry of Voices Collection through StoryCorps’ American Pathways initiative. This initiative is made possible by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and an Anonymous Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Stuart Family Foundation. It will be archived at the Library of Congress.

Originally aired February, 14, 2024, on NPR’s Morning Edition.

Vietnam Separated Them, But These Brothers Stand Side By Side

Ron Amen grew up in Dearborn, Michigan in the 1950s. He belonged to a large and close family, including his brother, Alan. They were raised to look out for one another, and it was a lesson they took very seriously.

Ron Amen during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. Courtesy of Ron Amen.Ron Amen during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. Courtesy of Ron Amen.

In 1965, when the U.S. started committing combat troops to Vietnam, Ron was in one of the initial waves to be drafted for battle. This was the first time the brothers had been separated. But despite the distance the war brought, Ron and Alan kept their bond alive.

Ron Amen during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. Courtesy of Ron Amen.Ron Amen during his tour of duty in Vietnam in 1967. Courtesy of Ron Amen.

The brothers came to StoryCorps to reflect on their relationship, and to remember the effect war had on them — and their brotherhood.

Top photo: Alan and Ron Amen at their StoryCorps interview in Dearborn, Michigan on August 10, 2012. By Erin Dickey for StoryCorps.

This interview is part of the Anwar Collection of Muslim Voices through StoryCorps’ American Pathways initiative. This initiative is made possible by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and an Anonymous Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Stuart Family Foundation. It will be archived at the Library of Congress.

Originally aired April 23, 2022 on NPR’s Weekend Edition.

“You’re My Forever Love”: Reflections On Over 30 Years Of Friendship

In the late 1980s, Julaina Glass had moved from her childhood home in Washington Heights, NY, to a small studio in Harlem. Julaina was 19 and living alone, but she found a fast friend in her upstairs neighbor, Beau McCall.

Beau was an artist and older than Julaina by about 10 years. His apartment became like a second home to her and they soon became inseparable.

Nearly 35 years after they first met, Beau and Julaina came to StoryCorps to reminisce about some of their happiest memories together, and to look back on how it all began.

Top Photo: Beau McCall and Julaina Glass at their StoryCorps interview in New York, NY on June 3, 2017. By Jhaleh Akhavan for StoryCorps.

This interview was recorded in partnership with the I, Too Arts Collective. It is part of the Anwar Collection of Muslim Voices through StoryCorps’ American Pathways initiative. This initiative is made possible by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art and an Anonymous Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Stuart Family Foundation. It will be archived at the Library of Congress.

Originally aired May 14, 2021, on NPR’s Morning Edition.