My interests and skills are incredibly diverse, and I am constantly striving to combine them into a unified aesthetic that represents my unique point of view. Here I will attempt to briefly touch upon major experiences and interests along this ongoing journey.
I attended the University of Pennsylvania, where I majored in Comparative Literature with a concentration in Global Post-Colonial Studies (and minor in Arabic). I was drawn to this field of study partly because of growing up as a child of immigrants and being so heavily impacted by 9/11 and its fallout. I saw my struggle for a cohesive cultural and spiritual identity mirrored in post-colonial literature by authors like Orhan Pamuk and J.M. Coetzee. I also minored in Photography in order to explore these themes visually, map my inner workings and document my travels. I traveled across the Middle East and became obsessed with geometric motifs, which to me represented the cohesiveness I sought to embody.
Upon graduating, I taught middle school World History for a year before transitioning to Fashion Design. Spurred by my life-long love of constructing clothes, I attended the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked as a womenswear designer for a few years, during which I became disillusioned with the wasteful excesses of the industry. And so, next I transitioned to working for an ethically-conscious social enterprise that empowered survivors of global sex trafficking through fashion production. I also developed strong thrifting and DIY skills in order to reduce my fast fashion footprint and still enjoy style as self-expression.
During my late 20's, I experienced an extremely painful period of my life that led me to publish a personal essay about healing from my past trauma. The subsequent opportunities to speak and share my story with others revealed my true calling: mentoring youth in order to support healthy social and emotional development and the honing of leadership skills. I transitioned into this career, which I find incredibly fulfilling and which now allows me to combine most of my diverse interests such as education, psychology, advocacy and art.
I continue to pursue art and design on a personal level through side projects. For example, I design and sell jewelry through my Etsy shops (1 and 2). I continue to travel around the world and learn as much as I can about different cultures through art and literature. I continue to fight for a better world by pursuing studies in social work and mentoring youth. I built this personal website to collect and display my various projects and experiences in one place, with the hope that I can continue growing as an artist, educator, advocate and writer. I hope this site will also be a platform with which to connect to others with similar passions.
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