Get to know me!
Where are you from?
I am originally Bengali (Bangladeshi), but am from Wisconsin where I also attended college and met and married my husband, Shah-Jahan or Shah for short.
What did you study in school?
During undergrad I studied biology with minors in environmental studies and global health. I’m passionate about the environment and health and how the two are linked. This interest lead me to pursue a Masters in Public Health! Some of my interests include understanding infectious disease, material child health, healthy homes, chronic disease, neuro degenerative disease, and minority health.
What are your hobbies?
I love fashion and cooking! I like cooking desi food but also I also am a huge fan of Italian and Mexican food! I definitely am a big foodie and am willing to try new foods! In my free time I also like DIY projects and decorating my home. I would consider myself pretty crafty! Together, my husband and I like to do small home renovation projects. I also enjoy acrylic painting and have a huge appreciation for art museums.
Of course, I love traveling to new places and spending time with friends and family. My husband and I like exploring the outdoors, biking, and playing sports :)
Do you have any pets?
I have two kitties! Indy is our older cat (6 years old) and is a calico and Bucky (1.5 years old) is a tortoiseshell. Both are girls and get along together...but every now and then are cat fights ;)
Who takes your pictures?
I have two sisters and many cousins. Often times they will take my outfit photos. When we get together we love dressing up and taking pictures! I also get my girlfriends to take photos of me!
When they aren't around, my husband Shah takes my pictures and I am grateful for his efforts :)
As for other photos, I take them on my own. I love food overlay shots and taking pictures of my cats!
How did you and your husband meet?
Shah and I met in college! We both were members of the Muslim Students Association (MSA), where we shared a similar group of friends. Shortly after I graduated college, we got married with the love and support of our parents! :)
Tell me more about your hijab and why you choose to wear it?
My choice to wear hijab started fairly recently. When I moved from Wisconsin to Indiana, I decided it was finally time for me to wear the headscarf that was always encouraged by my family. At the time, there were many milestones in my life that helped me transition into becoming a hijabi. With the support of my family and new husband, I started wearing the scarf on August 12th, 2015. At first, it was awkward and I had a hard time finding the perfect style for me, but with the help of YouTube tutorials, I learned. Since becoming a hijabi, I have never regretted it. Although, our current climate is not always Muslim friendly, I have learned to embrace my religion and be a role model for girls in my community.
If you don't know what the hijab is, it is basically the idea of dressing modestly. In Arabic the word “hijab” translates to "cover". The Quran (the Muslim's holy book) states that hijab should be observed. Everyone interprets hijab differently. For me, hijab includes covering my body and hair, but also treating everyone justly and kindly.
Interestingly enough, hijab is also a requirement for men in Islam. They are told to also practice modesty and lower their gaze at anything immodest. Again, some people may have a different definition but this is my version of hijab :)
I always remember that wearing a hijab does not make me any better than a woman who chooses not to. No one is perfect and what we see through the lens of a camera is always different than real life. In the end, what is most important is the intention you have for all of your actions, and ultimately that is between yourself and God.
Feel free to message me if you are interested to learn more about me!