Student in San Antonio, Texas
I am a student currently living in San Antonio, Texas. My interests range from photography to design. I am also interested in music, travel, and food.
I was born in Bangladesh and moved to the United States when I was 12. Both in Bangladesh, and here in the United States, I was raised with traditional Bengali fundamentalist thoughts, beliefs and home life. In addition to going to school, I spent most of my time learning to cook, clean and do other chores necessary for being a good wife, just like my traditional Bengali mother. I was not allowed to participate in extracurricular activities, socialize with non- Bengali friends or attend social events outside of our Bengali community. My father was controlling and physically abusive to my mother and at times to me. My mother’s marriage was arranged when she was a young girl. Like every girl before me in our family, when I was very young, a marriage to a man 11 years older than me was arranged. I was somewhere aware of this early in my life; but it was not until later my sophomore year of high school, that I became apparent that I was going to be sent back to Bangladesh for this marriage before the end of my junior year. I looked up to my mom, but knew in my heart that I did not want the life she was living. I had the audacity to think of breaking the cycle, to get myself out of a forced marriage; and pursue my dream of becoming a successful woman on my own. When I voiced my desire to finish high school and pursue College; my parents limited my activities and freedoms even more than I had experienced previously. My parents continued with the travel and wedding plans despite my lack of agreement with the impending marriage. I was left with no choice but to go against my family and leave them to create a better life.
My personal experiences deeply inspire me to help those in need of a life of their own choosing. I plan to use my creative talents for the betterment of other women in similar circumstances. Without choices and freedom, it is impossible to live the life that one deserves. My goal in furthering my education at the University level is to become a photojournalist and eventually to make documentary films focusing on the issue of forced marriage and other abuses of human rights. I gave up everything and everyone to be able to live my dreams, have my freedom, and change the circumstances of others.
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