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This is Where I Need to Be: Oral Histories of Muslim Youth in NYC

This is Where I Need to Be: Oral Histories of Muslim Youth in NYC


A groundbreaking collection of oral history narratives from the lives of post 9/11 Muslim youth in New York City.


Trained in the methods of oral history by Teacher College's Student Press Initiative, a dozen Muslim teenagers set out to document stories from the real-life experiences and feelings of their Muslim peers in public high schools. The result is a compelling collection of twenty-three oral histories which show the tremendous cultural diversity of Islam in the US. These are voices of teenagers living ordinary lives at a time when being Muslim in America can provoke "extraordinary" reactions from classmates and teachers, from friends and strangers, or even from one's own family and kin.

Curriculum Embedded Project

This project grew out of a three-year long research study on Muslim Youth in NYC public schools conducted by Dr. Louis Cristillo, Research Assistant Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. After learning the methods and techniques of conducting oral history interviews, a team of twelve Muslim students interviewed 23 of their peers in order to write these stories and, in so doing, share with the world their experiences of what it means to be a young Muslim in a post 9/11 America.


  • Author: Student Oral Historians from the Muslim Youth Project 2008
  • Price: 12.95
  • Year of Publication: 2008
  • Binding: Paperback
  • # of pgs.: 107


"This volume introduces us to critical but often marginalized voices in our current historical moment--Muslim youth growing up in post-9/11 America. Their stories are an important contribution both to the contemporary discourse on Islam in America, and for future historians who will rely on the testimonies offered here in order to reconstruct what life was like for ordinary people living in extraordinary times."

Zaheer Ali, Ph.D. Student in U.S. History, Columbia University
"This remarkable volume of oral histories brings new insights into the rich multi-cultural tapestry in NYC. It gives us not only a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of Muslim youth from their own perspectives, it also equips them with a valuable skill to document and interpret the history of Muslim New Yorkers, a seed that will surely bear fruits for generations to come."

Aisha H.L. al-Adawiya, Founder and Executive Director, Women In Islam Inc
"The best way to fight stereotyping and appreciate diversity is to share stories and contributions of individuals that make up our society."

Fausto A. Salazar, Principal, New World High School, Bronx, New York