Islamic Art and Culture
American Creations
a reporting project of Round Earth Media

Tom Franklin for Round Earth Media

Laila Lalami • Ellen Schmidt for Round Earth Media

Iftar • Paul Middlestaedt for REM

Eslah Attar for Round Earth Media

Ifrah Mansour • Caroline Yang for Round Earth Media

Rahim AlHaj • Pinar Istek for Round Earth Media

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our purpose

In an era of misinformation and outrage, one of the most fraught relationships is the one between 3.5 million American Muslims and their neighbors. This project is Round Earth Media’s contribution to addressing that tension.

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Time and again, the arts and culture have proven to be among the most effective ways of overcoming misunderstanding. Literature, fashion and food have a role, as well as music, drama, comedy, rituals and celebrations. One of the surest ways of putting culture before a broader audience is to share the stories of the thoughtful, energetic people who create it.

Round Earth Media is reaching out across the country in an ambitious two-year effort to dig out underreported stories. We are seeking examples of those who are using culture to put an innovative spin on the American Dream, and those who are shutting out the vitriol to learn more about each other’s lives, culture and traditions. Our aim is to give them the widest possible audience – through publication in mainstream media, both in the United States and in Muslim-majority countries.

Ramadan Mubarak lantern | Tom Franklin for Round Earth Media
Ramadan Mubarak lantern | Tom Franklin for Round Earth Media

Recent Stories:

A Muslim woman comic walks into a bar: Changing perceptions through jokes

By Aqilah Allaudeen | September 18, 2019 | Comments Off on A Muslim woman comic walks into a bar: Changing perceptions through jokes

Satire is often used to educate and broach tough topics. As negative perceptions of Islam persist throughout the U.S., some Muslim women are trying a softer way to build bridges: comedy. It’s…

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A Black Minneapolis Artist Brings Hidden Communities to Light

By Aida Alami | August 21, 2019 | Comments Off on A Black Minneapolis Artist Brings Hidden Communities to Light

Bobby Rogers’s art finds beauty and creativity in unseen communities, from black Muslims to Minneapolis gang members to faces of police brutality protesters. Three years ago on a hot summer day, Philando…

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As halal food wins over new audiences, some fear it’s losing its soul

By Kimberly Winston | July 18, 2019 | Comments Off on As halal food wins over new audiences, some fear it’s losing its soul

The market for halal food is expanding rapidly. But where some see opportunity, other see an attempt to reduce religious faith to a marketing buzzword. Sameer Sarmast’s adventurous appetite long ago moved…

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With his oud, this musician transports audiences to Iraq

By Stephen Franklin | July 9, 2019 | Comments Off on With his oud, this musician transports audiences to Iraq

Rahim AlHaj, who has been nominated for Grammys, hopes to draw attention to the experiences of those caught in violent conflict in Iraq and elsewhere. Rahim AlHaj knows about loss. He knows…

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More stories still to come...

Our Method

At Round Earth Media, we believe that there is power in good journalism; that there is a hunger for real information extending deep into our growing “news deserts.”

We also believe that, even as the collapse of their traditional model has hollowed out U.S. media organizations, a generation of young journalists is eager for the chance to reinvent that model for the 21st century.

We know the stories haven’t disappeared; it’s just that there often is no one left to tell them.

Our experienced editors prioritize finding knowledgeable young journalists, and then work with them to create vivid stories – in works, in images and in sound – that meet the craft’s highest standards

Need to get in touch?

Use the form below to contact us.