IWMF Spotlight: Reporting on Muslim Culture in the United States

Participants at a Muslim speed-dating event, photographed for a story with New Lines Magazine. (Monique Jaques)

The IWMF’s award-winning Round Earth Media (REM) program goes behind the headlines, taking time to produce compelling, nuanced storytelling that reaches global audiences. Now, with a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation’s Building Bridges Program, REM has launched a three-year project to report on Muslim people’s contributions to the culture of the United States.

We are supporting women journalists who are from, or deeply familiar with, the Muslim communities they cover. At the conclusion of the grant in 2026, we expect to have produced at least 25 stories, as well as an hour-long documentary for distribution by public radio stations nationwide.

The project is led by REM Program Director, Mary Stucky, an award-winning foreign correspondent, and Aida Alami, a Moroccan journalist with extensive experience reporting on race and religion for The New York Times and The New York Review of Books, among other major media outlets. Alami is an expert on bringing humanity to complex global stories, having covered Muslim communities in France and the U.S. as well as reporting on Syrian refugees in Europe and the Middle East and migrants in Morocco.

Our goal is to support journalists who are intimately aware of Muslim culture’s role in the U.S. They are producing original stories that will enrich public understanding and eschew tired cliches about Muslims and Islam.

If you have a story idea, please pitch Aida at aalami@iwmf.org.

Featured Projects

Muslim Matchmaking Goes Online
“Halal” dating apps and speed-dating events are on the rise as young Muslim Americans reject the arranged marriages of their parents’ generation. In this story for New Lines Magazine, writer Nada Bakri dives into the world of modern matchmaking and, inadvertently, becomes a matchmaker herself.

Based in Cambridge, MA, Nada Bakri is a Lebanese American journalist who covered the Middle East for more than a decade for newspapers including The Washington Post and The New York Times. Monique Jaques, an award-winning photojournalist based in Istanbul, contributed to the story.

Read Here


Most Funeral Homes Don’t Know How To Bury Muslims. These Women Want To Change That.
Two stories for HuffPost shed light on the American Muslim experience surrounding death, reflecting on the ways this marginalized population honors their culture and traditions while battling discrimination and grief during a difficult time.

Rowaida Abdelaziz is a senior reporter at HuffPost, where she spearheads coverage of Islamophobia and its intersection with politics, culture, and gender.

Read Here


An Ode To The Samosa: Why This Humble Street Food Is So Beloved During Ramadan
In a story for LAist, an NPR affiliate in Los Angeles, Yusra Farzan pays tribute to samosas, an iftar crowd favorite dating back to the 11th century, with variations in many African, Arab, South Asian and Southeast Asian countries. Some people add vinegar or feta cheese, while others stuff them with walnuts. Read until the end for Yusra’s own recipe. “Deep fry and enjoy,” she says.

Yusra Farzan is a reporter at LAist whose previous work experience includes stints with the Orange County Register and Gulf News in the UAE. Her story was broadcast on Morning Edition and All Things Considered in LA and throughout Southern California.

Read Here


Pitch Us!

Aida Alami and her team are just getting started. They are excited to embark on this project, which will reach diverse national audiences via a wide range of media outlets. We’re eager to work with the IWMF’s community of dedicated journalists and photojournalists to report stories that simply wouldn’t be covered without our support.

If you have a story idea, please send it to Aida at aalami@iwmf.org.


Open Opportunities

Apply by April 21: Applications accepted for the Elizabeth Neuffer Fellowship(February to July 2025)

Ongoing: Applications accepted on a rolling basis for the Fund for Women Journalists

Ongoing: Applications accepted on a rolling basis for the Fund for Indigenous Journalists: Reporting on Missing & Murdered Women, Girls, Two-Spirit and Transgender People (MMIWG2T)