(ass)Holier Than Thou

I am an anthropologist in training. Currently, I’m a grad student of Sociocultural Anthropology at Columbia University.

In my previous life, I was a social worker and a freelance interpreter. My work with BRAC’s  SoFEA (Social and Financial Empowerment of Adolescents) program included rural youth advocacy and strategic social communication.

As a freelance writer, I write poetry, fiction and essays addressing “shadow citizens” – focusing mostly on gender, sexuality and children’s issues – in terms of usage of the bodies of the marginalized as ‘sites’ of violence, sexual abuse, socio-cultural verticality, identity and class politics and hypocrisy, etc.

I’m also an active member of Drishtipat – an activist network – and am a member of its writers’ collective.

I am a freelance researcher and have thus far assisted in projects on needs assessment for palliative care in Bangladesh (Dr. Roghieh Dehghan, Kings College, London), HIV/AIDS awareness in urban-local government (Euro Health Groups), regulatory reform of administrative barriers (IFC-SEDF), sexual abuse of children in urban slums (Afsan Chowdhury – BRAC Human Rights and Advocacy Unit and Breaking the Silence), etc. My current independent (and informal) research areas are floating sex workers, sexually abused children and sexual minorities.

Previously, I was employed at the Center for Languages (CfL) – BRAC University, where I taught basic critical thinking and writing to undergraduate students, Development English for Professionals (DEVPRO) to BRAC managers, a writing crash course to top-tier SSC/HSC students from economically marginalized families (Medhabikash), and led a creative writing project.

Born Bangladeshi, I have lived and schooled in 4 countries, traveled to many more and am waiting to be able to start catering to an insatiable wanderlust. Like the English Patient, I too long for a world with no maps.

My (not so) secret desire is to be a sing-songer.  My other (a little more) secret desire is to be a dancer.  Other (even more so) secret desires are to be a photographer, painter and sculptor.

Maybe someday ….

I love writing. I really love writing…as much as I love (in no particular order) sunshine, kisses,  genuine people (adults), purple, tea, music, coffee, chocolates,conversations, the moon, singing in the shower, grass, sand, bubbles, bubble baths, water bodies, mangoes, babies, hugs, being loving and being in love.


2 thoughts on “(ass)Holier Than Thou

  1. Farah, it’s the best “about me” i have ever read. it really tells who you are (not because i have known you so well).

  2. Hello,

    You’re doing “God’s work,” as the saying goes. Congratulations and thank you. I’m Bangladeshi-born but grew up abroad, and am back visiting to try to get to know the country better. As a photographer, I had a desire to link up with a non-profit here and document their work, both as a contribution to them and as a learning experience for myself. I wasn’t able to do that during this trip but hope to again in the future. If we may work together, please email me at bengaliboy2010 at gmail. Please do also check out my blog documenting my visit at http://bengaliboy.wordpress.com, and my photography site at http://www.shamstarek.com.


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