Moury Khan – StoryCorps
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Wisdom From Our Grandparents

Grandparents are important figures in many of our lives. Their wisdom echoes across generations. Their stories can be comforting, funny, entertaining, and make us feel loved no matter what. Explore this collection of stories from and about grandparents, and the wisdom they share.

Want to record a story with or about your grandparents, or special elders in your life? Join us for the Great Thanksgiving Listen and record your history!

By sitting down with someone you love for a StoryCorps conversation, you’re showing them that their stories matter and preserving them for generations to come. Just download the StoryCorps App to record your conversation and upload it directly to the Archive, housed at the Library of Congress. Or, if an in-person interview isn’t possible, use StoryCorps Connect to conduct it remotely.

Sunday at Rocco’s

Nicholas Petron’s grandfather, Rocco Galasso, moved to New York City from Italy with the hopes of making a better life. Nicholas shared his grandfather’s success, and their Sunday traditions at StoryCorps. Read the full transcript here.

Labor of Love

Mary Stepp Burnette Hayden was born into enslavement in North Carolina, and was 7 years old when she was freed. She stayed in Black Mountain and became a midwife, delivering several hundred babies including her own grandchildren. Read the full transcript here.

Lola’s Work

Kenneth Tan and his mother remember the remarkable life of his grandmother, whom he called Lola. Through all the hard times and hard work, Lola was a devoted and loving grandmother. Read the full transcript here.

My Father, the Giant

Thompson Williams remembers his father, a larger-than-life tribal leader of the Caddo Nation and a veteran of World War II. Read the full transcript here.

Mi Abuela Panchita

Bishop Ricardo Ramierez remembers his grandmother Panchita Espitia as a formidable and wise woman. He shares her memory and the valuable spiritual lesson she taught him at the end of her days. Read the full transcript here.

An Honest Life

When Tony Perri was 17 years old he went to confession and told his priest that he was attracted to men. At StoryCorps, Tony talks with his grandson Jeffrey about coming out, and Jeffrey talks about his own coming out experience. Read the full transcript here.

Silvia’s Legacy

In the 1950s Ellaraino, then age 16, was sent to Louisiana to visit her great-grandmother Silvia, who had lived through the Civil War. That summer, Silvia shared the moment she got her freedom. Read the full transcript here.

Stories From Our Archive

Alisha Laramee and Douglas Haynes

Alisha talks to Doug about her grandmother, and their family’s traditions.

Eliezer Krumbein and Sarah-Bess Dworin

Sarah-Bess Dworin (41) relives the memory of her grandmother in this conversation with her grandfather Eliezer Krumbein (93).

Monica Eager and Tiffany Eager

Sisters Monica and Tiffany Eager trade stories about their maternal grandparents, Grandma Lily and Grandpa Cliff.

Theresa Haynes and Stephanie Harrell

A grandmother and granddaughter chat about growing up in Brooklyn.

Honoring Transgender Awareness Week

November 20th marks Transgender Day of Remembrance, an annual observance to honor the lives and memories of transgender individuals whose lives were lost due to acts of anti-transgender violence. In the week leading up to that day, people around the globe participate in and celebrate Transgender Awareness Week, bringing visibility to the issues the community faces. This week we’re uplifting the voices and stories from a few of our transgender participants as they share memories of joy, pain, and lots of love all around.

“My parents were afraid this might be contagious.”
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“I Was Going To Have A Family Again”

Elizabeth Coffey-Williams was in her early 20s when she told her family that she was transgender. She sat down for a StoryCorps interview with her niece, Jennifer Coffey, to reflect on that journey. Read the full transcript here.

The Door She Opened

At the age of 63, Dee Westenhauser came out as a transgender woman. She remembers growing up in El Paso, Texas in the 1950s, and the one person who made her feel like herself. Read the full transcript here.

We're Still Here
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We’re Still Here

In this podcast episode, hear from those who have frequently been the first to stand up for equality — but are typically the last to be recognized for their contributions.  In the LGBTQ community, those are often the voices of trans women of color. Read the full transcript here.

“I was worried that you might not accept me”
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A Road Trip And Lost Time

​​For almost 30 years, T. Chick McClure and their dad, Chas McClure, were estranged. Shortly after they reconnected, Chas invited Chick on a 2-week road trip through the Southwest. Read the full transcript here.

Alexis Martinez and Lesley Martinez Etherly

Growing up in the 1960s in a housing project on the South Side of Chicago, Alexis Martinez knew that she had to hide from others that she is transgender. At StoryCorps, Alexis speaks with her daughter, Lesley Martinez Etherly, about her childhood. Read the full transcript here.

“It’s like a part of my heart is gone.”
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“It’s Like A Part Of My Heart Is Gone”

Warning: The following story recalls violence and murder. Angie Zapata, a transgender woman in Colorado, was killed in 2008 by a person she was dating. Angie’s family came to StoryCorps to memorialize her. Read the full transcript here.

StoryCorps 497: Meet Them Where They Are
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Meet Them Where They Are

For some kids, the saying “just be yourself” can be a scary proposition. In this podcast episode, hear from an Arizona family helping their 9-year-old transgender son do just that. Read the full transcript here.

"You said that you were in the wrong body, that you should be a man."
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A Family Transition

In 1997, Les and Scott GrantSmiths’ marriage was on the rocks. They had been together for ten years and were raising two children. But Les was hiding something: although he was born female, he felt like a man in the wrong body. Read the full transcript here.

Love Lost, And Found

Sue McConnell and Kristyn Weed are best friends and Vietnam-era veterans. Although they didn’t serve in the war together, they share a story of courage — on and off the battlefield. Read the full transcript here.

In Memoriam: Patrick Haggerty

Patrick Haggerty in Bremerton, Washington on August 13, 2022. By Bella Gonzalez for StoryCorps.

We mourn the loss of Patrick Haggerty, the trailblazing musician, activist, and past StoryCorps participant, who died last week at the age of 78. 

Patrick first recorded with StoryCorps in 2014 with his daughter Robin and recounted how he came to accept that he was gay with the firm, loving counsel of his father Charles Haggerty. The radio broadcast of Patrick’s story was later brought to life via the animation “The Saint of Dry Creek,” which was screened in the 2016 Sundance festival. This animation was among 72 selected short films out of 8,700 submissions in the 2016 Sundance festival. 

Everyone at StoryCorps who got to know Patrick was moved by his lively, witty, big-hearted spirit. While he was a star in our eyes, Patrick was a humble person, more likely to shine light on people he admired than himself. When “The Saint of Dry Creek” was released, Patrick was most happy to see his father recognized, saying, “My entire HUGE family is over the moon and just so damn proud of our dad. He deserves this honor. He really and truly does.” 

Patrick’s father had a huge influence on his life, and as he grew into adulthood he was surrounded by friends who became like family. One of these friends was Faygele ben Miriam. In recent months, Patrick returned to StoryCorps with his dear friend Ronni Galboa, to tell the story of their friend Faygele, who Patrick remembered as a “power to be reckoned with.” This last recording gave us a window into where Patrick’s path led him. He became an icon in the history of out and proud gay musicians and led a life filled with deeply rooted friendships and boisterous acts of protest.

We are honored to have been able to amplify and share Patrick’s story. Join us in remembering Patrick and the joy and wisdom he brought through his storytelling.

Staff Spotlight: Hazel Diaz, Manager of the Military Voices Initiative

Get to know Hazel Diaz, the manager behind the Military Voices Initiative!

About Me:

I am a proud New York City native. I grew up in Bushwick, but currently live in Amish country, Pennsylvania; you could say I’m pretty well rounded. After my service in the United States Marine Corps, I began working in veteran services. I have served the military community in several roles related to policy, education, nonprofit and veteran services organizations for over 12 years. When not working, I enjoy backpacking through state and national parks (I have a few dozen under my belt), and traveling both domestically and internationally. I have visited 48 states and a handful of countries. I also enjoy yoga, running, biking, kayaking, and treating myself to ice cream after my adventures.

What is your role at StoryCorps and how long have you been with the organization?

I am manager of the Military Voices Initiative (MVI) and I’ve been with StoryCorps for five years.

What does your job entail?

I manage the MVI project as a whole and this entails scheduling, partnering with radio stations, and working with the field managers on recording conversations. I also produce the program materials, work with StoryCorps’ legal and production teams, serve as field manager, and meet deliverables for our grant. In terms of partner organizations, I often work with local VSOs (veteran service organizations) and collaborate with local station partners to produce promotion materials, plan and host listening events, and serve as an MVI and StoryCorps ambassador in these communities.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

One of our challenges is trying to appeal to a variety audiences in disparate regions. We work to create materials that resonate with the broadest possible audience, but it can still pose a challenge when you’re trying to reach participants in regions as divergent as Alaska and Washington, D.C.

What are some of the rewards of your job?

One of the biggest rewards for me is being on the road and being part of interviews in real time. When we are on the ground and talking to participants in person, it’s especially meaningful. I also get satisfaction from seeing the radio stations work with our materials and tailor them to their audiences in order to maximize engagement.

What is your favorite story?

My favorite story is “Just Like Yesterday,” which is a love story about two people finding each other in New York and creating a life together, despite a language barrier. As a native New Yorker, I loved hearing how smitten they still are with each other.

As we honor our veterans this Veteran’s Day, November 11, why do you think StoryCorps’ MVI Initiative is important?

Our MVI archive shows that the veterans in our country are not a monolith — they each have different experiences and their stories show us that we have a shared humanity, no matter what our background is. 

I think this collection is valuable because it demonstrates how adaptable people are in the face of adversity. Many military members—along with their children and spouses—move often, so their stories are about resiliency in the face of change. While not every service member or family of a service member talks about their military experience, many do, and for those who have left the service and feel isolated—it can be helpful to hear relatable stories of those who have done the same. We encourage all veterans to record their stories with us!

Press Release: The Great Thanksgiving Listen 2022


Recordings Become Part of American History at the Library of Congress

Brooklyn, New York, November 1, 2022—This Thanksgiving, StoryCorps, the national nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing the stories of people of all backgrounds and beliefs, invites people nationwide to use the organization’s new, free mobile app or its remote recording platform, StoryCorps Connect, to record a conversation with an elder, mentor, friend, or someone they admire. With permission, each interview is saved in the online, publicly-accessible StoryCorps Archive and in the special StoryCorps collection at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the world’s single largest collection of human voices. Launched in 2015, when StoryCorps created its first mobile app, the annual Great Thanksgiving Listen is the organization’s most important public engagement event, generating approximately 13,000 recordings each year. 

While everyone is encouraged to participate in The Great Thanksgiving Listen this holiday season, teachers nationwide have adopted the program as part of  their curriculum, and thousands of students (age 13 and over)—from middle school to college—are participating. In particular, The Great Thanksgiving Listen allows students to engage in intergenerational conversations, asking elders about who they are, what they’ve learned in life, and how they want to be remembered. To foster participation among people of all backgrounds, StoryCorps has created a free toolkit, available at It includes everything families and students need to know about how to record a StoryCorps interview and archive it for the Library of Congress. For classrooms, specific activities within the toolkit align with Common Core Standards.

Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps, said, “The Great Thanksgiving Listen invites people nationwide to honor someone in their lives by recording their story for future generations. The new app makes the experience more accessible and seamless. We hope the country will join us in recording the wisdom of humanity while reminding those they love and admire how much their lives and stories matter.”   

Recording the Great Thanksgiving Listen Interviews with the StoryCorps App

This year, StoryCorps launched major updates to the StoryCorps App, available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. The app allows anyone, anywhere, to conveniently prepare for, record, and archive a high-quality, in-person StoryCorps interview. Updates to the new version build on StoryCorps’ first app’s platform and reliability, with an enhanced user experience that includes more of StoryCorps’ rich content: its weekly broadcasts, animations, podcast seasons, and more. The app also seamlessly enables users to explore StoryCorps’ rich content, curate personalized interview collections, and share StoryCorps stories on social media. In addition, users now have access to StoryCorps Communities, enabling them to add their interview to a community they’ve joined, as well as see content from other community members.

People who are interested in participating in the Great Thanksgiving Listen, but are not in the same room, can use StoryCorps’ video-based remote recording platform, StoryCorps Connect. 

Since 2015, the Great Thanksgiving Listen has encouraged people across the country to use the StoryCorps App, which the organization created with the $1M TED Prize awarded that year to StoryCorps Founder and President Dave Isay. StoryCorps had already gathered more than 50,000 recordings in its traditional recording booths. Yet StoryCorps has a much bigger aspiration: to become an institution that touches the life of every American. The 2015 pilot version of The Great Thanksgiving Listen revealed the initiative’s potential to help StoryCorps reach that ultimate goal. Over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday, StoryCorps recorded more interviews than it had in its 12-year history to date. The Wall Street Journal wrote, “Imagine it: During the holidays, instead of using gadgets to ignore each other, we might use them as an excuse to look each other in the eye and listen.” 

The Great Thanksgiving Listen 2022 is made possible by Fetzer Institute and the Gruber Family Foundation. 

About StoryCorps

Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has given over 600,000 people, in all 50 states, the chance to record interviews about their lives. The award-winning organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered, and shares select stories with the public through StoryCorps’ podcast, NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, engender empathy and connection, and remind us how much more we have in common than what divides us. StoryCorps is especially committed to capturing and amplifying voices least heard in the media. The StoryCorps MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer that has been transformed into a traveling recording booth, crisscrosses the country year-round gathering the stories of people nationwide. Learn more at

Staff Spotlight: Virginia Millington, Director of Recording & Archive

A woman with strawberry blonde hair wearing a red floral based shirt.
Virginia Millington, Director of Recording & Archive

About Me

I’ve worked in libraries, museums, and nonprofit organizations for over fifteen years and have been a New Yorker since 2008. When I’m not at StoryCorps, I’m usually spending time exploring with my son. 

What is your position at StoryCorps and how long have you been with the organization?

My role is Director of Recording and Archive and I’ve been at StoryCorps for 12 years.

What does your job entail?

My job is to lead an expert team of archivists and recording technicians, who ensure, on a daily basis, that StoryCorps interviews are recorded using the highest standards while also making them as accessible as possible to a wide variety of audiences, including participants, partners, and more. Our team is also responsible for recording and training dozens of facilitators, looking into new technologies for recording interviews, and collaborating with our digital team to make sure that our work is responsive to the needs of our users, forward-thinking, and consistent with best practices in the field.

How has technology shaped the archive?

The launch of the StoryCorps App in 2015 involved figuring out how to apply our rigorous StoryCorps recording model to a format that would make it possible for anyone with a smartphone or tablet to record a StoryCorps interview. We worked very closely with our digital team on this shift to a more scalable, expansive model that preserved the intent of our approach to recording interviews.

With the app, the scale and scope of our collection expanded, but it was important for us to maintain the archival goals and quality of the recordings. This was something we accomplished through deep collaboration with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and through an iterative process of building the StoryCorps App in a collaborative, open-ended way. 

What are some rewards of your job?

StoryCorps employs some of the most passionate, engaged, and thoughtful people, and it’s a privilege to be a part of a rapidly evolving institution that nonetheless values consensus and inclusion. I also feel honored to be able to interact with the thousands of stories within our archive on a daily basis; the scope of the collection reflects generational wisdom, vernacular history, and a series of relational conversations that are moving individually and collectively very powerful. 

I’m especially proud of the interviews that have been recorded virtually during the pandemic, as they represent the myriad ways in which StoryCorps adapted its own recording model to meet the needs of the people who sought to record interviews with loved ones during times of isolation and social distancing. You can find a set of these interviews here

What is your favorite StoryCorps story?

My favorite collection or story is usually related to a theme that’s universal, like Sundays at Rocco’s, which is about a family on New York’s Lower East Side, who are affected in serious and long-reaching ways by the changing landscape of New York City. The story is poignant and reflective, but doesn’t necessarily end in a heartwarming way. It shows the fragility and complexity of the human experience and is a unique New York story that resonates outside of its specific locale. 

Why do you think everyone should record a story with StoryCorps?

I can say this from first-hand experience, but our facilitators always show the utmost care, respect, and honor when they are working with two people to record their interview. And the StoryCorps App and StoryCorps Connect, our virtual platforms, expand that experience to be more accessible while still maintaining a framework of care and trust. I think everyone should have the experience of recording a StoryCorps interview in order to have the experience of learning more about a loved one, but also knowing that your interview will be preserved, not only by the recording & archive team at StoryCorps, but by our partners at the Library of Congress. 

What are ways you’d suggest to search the Archive?

-Search the Archive by our initiatives, which are collections of interviews that celebrate specific groups of people. You can check out the Griot Collection, the OutLoud Collection, our One Small Step Collection, and more.

-Check out our featured partnerships, which include Hear Me Now, a collaboration with the Providence Institute for Human Caring and Voices of Freedom, a collaboration with the Office on Trafficking in Persons.

-Download “Activities for Exploring the StoryCorps Archive”, a fun, interactive way to learn more about the StoryCorps interview collection. 

-Watch a panel presentation on the Military Voices Initiative and the Veterans’ History Project, hosted at the Library of Congress.

Staff Spotlight: Lara Torsky, Director of Individual Giving at StoryCorps

About Me

I have spent the past decade working in development, first in education, before transitioning to the non-profit sector. Outside of work, I am a first-time mom to a five-month-old baby boy and enjoy spending as much time with him as I can. I am also a certified yoga instructor and try to teach when my schedule allows.

What is your position at StoryCorps and how long have you been with the organization?

I’m the director of individual giving and have been at StoryCorps for a little over two years. My role touches on so many areas of giving: online giving, direct mail efforts, events, and more. But in essence, I try to find ways to engage our donors and deepen their relationship with StoryCorps and our leadership. Individual donors provide StoryCorps with flexible funds that allow us to adapt to whatever needs may arise and make StoryCorps a great place to work. This support is vital and we literally could not do our work without it. 

What are some challenges and rewards of your job?

The challenge of my job is that it covers so many aspects of giving; it’s really a diverse role. The rewarding aspects are the great people I work with and seeing our program grow. Looking toward 2023, we are very excited to have an in-person gala—our first since the pandemic began—in honor of StoryCorps’ 20th anniversary. Creating space for people to come together, celebrate, and experience StoryCorps is very rewarding.

What is a typical week like for you?

In development, our work is cyclical. Right now, we are really focused on end-of-year giving. A majority of our individual donors give at the end of the year, so we are working on messaging for Giving Tuesday (the Tuesday after Thanksgiving) and email messaging for December. During a given week, I am usually working with the development, marketing, and leadership teams to strategize new ways to bring our mission to life, inspire people to give, and show the impact of their support.  

What is your favorite StoryCorps story?

I love the story “Double Major,” which is now an animation. It is the first StoryCorps story that I remember hearing back when it first aired in June 2012, and it was a broadcast on NPR. I was standing in my parent’s backyard when it came on the radio and had that classic “StoryCorps moment” where I just started crying (something I know many of our listeners have experienced as well). It’s such a moving story about a dad in his twenties who goes to college after serving in the Navy, with his infant daughter in tow. Somehow, he balances being an older student taking care of a baby and working, while also playing on the college basketball team.

Why do you think everyone should record a story with StoryCorps?

There is nothing like having the voice of your friends and family preserved—especially after they are gone. It’s very special and truly priceless. 

Staff Spotlight: Kathrina Proscia, Director of Executive Office & Board Liaison

Meet Kathrina Proscia, he

About Me:

I’m a New Yorker through and through. Born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, raised in Queens, I’ve never lived outside NYC and wear my thick Brooklyn/Queens accent proudly. Working in Manhattan during the ’80s, I was living my dream, but left the workforce for another dream: to raise two amazing daughters alongside my husband and real-life hero, Joe. I picked up my career again in early 2000 and began working at StoryCorps in 2006 as a part-time, temporary consultant. I would have never guessed that that gig would turn into a 16-year career at StoryCorps working alongside our inspiring Founder and President Dave Isay and the talented StoryCorps staff. Working with Sandy Clark, our amazing new CEO, is a pleasure. Dave and Sandy’s commitment to this organization is heartfelt. StoryCorps and its important mission have brought me much joy, and yes, there have been many sleepless nights too, as nothing important comes easy. I’m honored to have lived StoryCorps’ evolution over these many years, and am thrilled to be a part of the organization’s exciting future.  

What is your role at StoryCorps?

I am a member of StoryCorps’ executive team and serve as director of the executive office and Board liaison. My main focus is to support the Board, along with Dave and Sandy, so that they have what they need to be successful in carrying out StoryCorps’ mission.

What is a typical week like for you?

In any given week, my days are super busy. With the support of a super-efficient and kind Executive Assistant Jeanette Maldonado, I’m working closely with Dave, Sandy, and the other members of the executive team to enable a positive workflow and to ensure key information is shared across departments. I act as the gatekeeper on a daily basis creating the proper situations for access to the president and CEO internally and externally and also act as a ‘barometer’ sensing what issues and concerns need to be brought to the attention of StoryCorps leadership. I write correspondence on behalf of the president and CEO, manage internal and external relationships together with key departments, and attend meetings with—and on behalf—of the executive office. 

I am also the key contact for vetting and negotiating speaking contracts and collaborating with external partners on the detailed execution of speaking engagements. I’m responsible for ensuring the president and CEO are fully prepared for all internal and external meetings as well as working with M&C [Marketing & Communications] around press interviews. Working with the CEO, I manage the various aspects related to our four Board meetings a year. I also write the minutes for the Board meetings and am the keeper of information and documents related to the Board’s committees, governance, term limits, and bylaws. There’s much more to my work day but let’s leave it at that; every day is a busy one for sure.

How have you seen StoryCorps evolve?

StoryCorps was a start-up when I joined: very hip and casual. Since then, I’ve seen it evolve into the national nonprofit it is today. It’s like watching a dream come true as we all work toward making StoryCorps a household name. I’ve also worked with so many wonderful staff who have passed through the doors at 80 Hanson. I love keeping in touch after they’ve moved on to see how their journey has unfolded. I remember when StoryCorps Board member Jason Reynolds was a facilitator with us—he was a young 20-something—and now he’s a #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books for young people and was named as the Library of Congress‘ national ambassador for young people’s literature in 2020. Many talented people have gotten their start here and we are so grateful to have been a part of their growth. 

What drew you to StoryCorps?

I started as a consultant to help get StoryCorps organized from an administrative perspective. For example, I helped Human Resources get organized and worked on early drafts of the facilitator manuals. After two months here, someone mentioned that Dave didn’t have any devoted administrative support. And before long, I found myself working full time as his executive assistant. Later, I was promoted to special assistant to the president, then director, and now director and Board liaison. My job has kept evolving and expanding ever since. It’s been sixteen years and I still love what I do every day. 

What are your biggest challenges and what do you enjoy most in this job?

My biggest challenge is trying to prioritize when everything is a priority and there’s so much to do. What’s been most fulfilling is watching the staff — they are so brilliant and do their work so gracefully. They just keep moving and shaking and it’s an honor to work with everyone. 

Why should everyone record a story with StoryCorps?

One of the most important things you can do is leave a legacy and history for the next generation. It may sound cliche but I mean it with all of my heart. Having someone tell their own story is unique — it’s a gift to the world.

What is your favorite StoryCorps story?

I have so many, but one is Clean Streets about two garbage men who worked as partners for years in Manhattan. Their accents and their whole exchange are just quintessential New York! Also, the 9/11 stories. They are beyond moving—especially She Was the One. Richie Pecorella lost his wife on 9/11 and until he passed away, he and Dave would have dinner together every year in Karen’s memory. 

A Year Later: Reflections of an Afghan-American Marine

On September 3, 2021, NPR’s Morning Edition broadcast a StoryCorps conversation with Ajmal Achekzai that explored the dualities he felt as an Afghan-born U.S. Marine. It was later reimagined as an animation.

As we mark the first anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, we followed up with Ajmal to reflect on what life has been like since our first conversation.

This interview-style interview has been lightly edited for clarity and length.

On September 3rd, 2021 we broadcasted your original conversation and have since animated it – How has sharing this story impacted your life?

AA: It has changed my life in so many ways that I am at a loss for words. I managed to get in touch with Afghan Refugee Relief (ARR), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that is assisting many refugees in southern California with their emergency resettlement. 

What’s important about telling this story?

AA: The significance of sharing this story is that it should make the general public aware of the ongoing struggles of the Afghan people. Hunger and poverty are unfathomable. Among the many tragic things still occurring in Afghanistan, the Taliban have not changed and have imposed policies that gravely violate basic rights, including restrictions on women’s rights, a ban on girls attending school, and violent attacks on Hazara and Shia communities that have claimed the lives of hundreds of Hazara and Shia Afghans.

What do you think people should be paying attention to now on the news cycle?

AA: A year has passed since the Taliban took Kabul, Afghanistan. 24.4 million Afghans are in need of humanitarian assistance. (source: 24.4 million people need humanitarian assistance now Afghanistan. Half are women & girls – these are their stories of struggle and defiance | United Nations in Afghanistan). The ability of Afghan families to care for themselves and satisfy their most basic requirements is being severely impacted by a paralyzed financial system, a shortage of money (the American government has frozen Afghan funds since the Taliban took over the country in 2021), employment opportunities, income loss, and the lingering effects of decades of conflict. These are only a few of the numerous issues people should be paying attention to.

What type of help do you think refugees most need? How can people stay engaged?

AA: There are many things the refugees need. Most of these families often arrive in need of medical attention and with only the clothes on their backs. As they rebuild their lives, they also require housing, food, transportation, household items, and many other necessities. Here are a few different ways people can stay engaged: Donations such as cash, furniture, school supply, items on a wish list, gift cards, new or gently-used items, volunteer to help the refugee families by helping set up their apartments, running donation drives, translators (Dari or Pashto), and being a mentor or tutor, and reaching out to the non-profits that are helping in the States & Afghanistan:

The links provided above are a courtesy of Ajmal and are not affiliated with StoryCorps.

Do you have any advice for others who feel caught “between two cultures [they] love?”

AA: One piece of  advice I can give is to accept the uniqueness of it. Because being caught between two cultures they love gives them a collective strength that can be used to better mankind as a whole.

In case you missed the broadcast, you can listen to it here, or you can watch it as an animation.

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.

Press Release: New StoryCorps Mobile App Launches July 18

New App with Expanded & Enhanced Features Allows Users to Record StoryCorps Interviews & Seamlessly Explore, Curate & Share StoryCorps Content on Social Media

Brooklyn, NY—Monday, July 18, 2022—StoryCorps, the nonprofit organization dedicated to recording, preserving, and sharing humanity’s stories, today launches a new free mobile app, available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. From one device, the StoryCorps App allows anyone, anywhere, to conveniently prepare for and record a high-quality interview for preservation in the online StoryCorps archive and eventually at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The app also seamlessly enables users to explore StoryCorps’ rich content, curate personalized interview collections, and share StoryCorps stories to social media. 

Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has given Americans across all 50 states the chance to record interviews about their lives and amplify the story of America through the voices of everyday people. The new StoryCorps App builds on the platform and reliability of the first app, which was launched in 2015 with the $1 million TED Prize awarded to Dave Isay. The App made it possible for the public to record, archive, and access StoryCorps interviews beyond the S​toryCorps MobileBooth that crisscrosses the country or in a permanent StoryBooth. T​he app has contributed to significant growth of the StoryCorps Archive, which currently comprises interviews featuring more than 600,000 participants. 

The new app provides access to StoryCorps’ content, including its full online archive of interviews; all episodes of the StoryCorps podcast; the StoryCorps “Story of the Week” series; and the full collection of StoryCorps animations. The app also allows users to customize their profile, curate personalized interview collections, and easily share StoryCorps’ content and their own recordings via their social media channels. In addition, users now have access to StoryCorps Communities, enabling them to add their interview to a community they’ve joined, as well as see content from other community members. StoryCorps Communities is often used by teachers and students, as well as by individual community groups. 

App users can select one of three privacy settings for the interviews they record:

To download the new app, visit the App Store and  Google Play. For more information about the app, visit

Dave Isay, Founder and President of StoryCorps, said, “In its nearly 20 years of existence, StoryCorps has recorded people of all backgrounds and beliefs, giving them the opportunity to honor someone with the act of listening, share their stories, and preserve their voices for future generations. The recordings remind us of our common humanity, and of the beauty, grace, and poetry of the lives being lived all around us. The new StoryCorps app makes the recording, preserving, and sharing StoryCorps interviews much more accessible, moving us closer to StoryCorps’ goal to become an enduring institution that touches the life of every American.”

Funding Credits

Major support for the StoryCorps App is made possible by Jane Phillips Donaldson & William H. Donaldson.

About StoryCorps

Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has given 600,000 people, in all 50 states, the chance to record interviews about their lives. The award-winning organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered, and shares select stories with the public through StoryCorps’ podcast, NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, engender empathy and connection, and remind us how much more we have in common than what divides us. StoryCorps is especially committed to capturing and amplifying voices least heard in the media. The StoryCorps MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer that has been transformed into a traveling recording booth, crisscrosses the country year-round gathering the stories of people nationwide. Learn more at