There are lots of things that can contribute to happiness and fulfillment, and they vary with each individual. A 75-year-long study, however, has found one common element that's believed to play a pivotal role in most people's genuine, longstanding happiness.

Good ol' fashioned friendship.

This study, which is considered the longest ongoing study on human happiness, started at Harvard University in 1938 with 724 men, 60 of whom are still alive today (women were added later because misogyny). After decades of observation, one of the study's leaders, Robert Waldinger, came to this conclusion:

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Huda Fahmy had a story inside her that desperately needed to get out.

And yeah, it was a good one.

A Detroit native now living in Texas, Fahmy is a devout Muslim. She thought about writing a book about her life, but after several rejection letters, her sister advised her to go in another direction — web comics.

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Muna Hussaini walked into her polling station near Austin, Texas, with her daughter on Election Day. Her excitement was weighed down by fear.

Now a mother of two, Hussaini was born and raised in the United States to immigrant parents from India. But as a Muslim woman who wears hijab, she's seen firsthand the angry and xenophobic rhetoric that still plagues this country. Sometimes, she still feels unsafe in her rightful home.

"This election has wreaked havoc on our family as Muslims, who have continued to look on in horror as women, Latinos, Blacks, gays ... so many have been denigrated," she confessed in a private post to tens of thousands of strangers in Pantsuit Nation, a secret Facebook group. (Her post is shared here with permission.)

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Thara Uddin used to water his own garden — and then his neighbors', too. That's just the sort of thoughtful person he was.

On Aug. 13, 2016, moments after saying prayers and leaving his place of worship, Uddin was shot and killed alongside Imam Maulama Akonjee, the leader of the mosque he attended.

Their deaths have rattled the Muslim community in Queens, New York — and beyond.

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