Mariah Farzana

“I have past experiences as a project development associate and as an entrepreneur. Women and girls empowerment is something I strongly stand for and advocate about. I am currently studying about women’s rights, children’s rights, international relations and sustainability. I enjoy reading, traveling, writing, photography, adventures and learning about different cultures as well as historical structures. As a part of a minority group myself, I share similar values with The Codette Project and thus, I joined it in 2019. I mainly contribute to the digital content as a writer.”

#CandidWithCodette

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? 
Focus on good things and you will own good things. Fall and then, get up but don’t ever give up!

What is the one thing about Bangladesh you wish people knew? 
Bangladesh actually has a rich history that goes beyond just “East Pakistan” and “British India”. Its cuisine is also distinct from both Indian and Pakistani cuisines, even though there are similar influences! 

Who is your ultimate fashion icon? 
Audrey Hepburn, Sharmila Tagore, Maharani Gayatri Devi, Zendaya, Nima Benati, Sonam Kapoor, Zarah Amira and Masoom Minawala are just some of whose styles I admire and personally relate to but my ultimate fashion icon would be Amal Clooney (née Alamuddin)! 

If you could have coffee with anyone in the world, who would it be? 
I don’t drink coffee but I absolutely would love to have tea with Emma Watson someday! I think we would have a lot to talk about ranging from Harry Potter, cats and novels to the United Nations, activism, sustainability and ethical fashion. 

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt from the woman who raised you? Always be independent! 

What is your dream job? 
I have always imagined myself to take on multiple roles so a dream job would be a combination of my goals: an author and a goodwill ambassador. 

Which film(s) and/or book(s) has/have shaped your idea of women and femininity? 

Films: Brave, Hidden FIgures and Enola Holmes

Books: Honour by Elif Shafak, Matilda by Roald Dahl and Little Women by Louisa May Alcott 

Unpopular opinion: who is a feminist icon you think deserves more recognition?
Sushmita Sen, an Indian actress and model of Bengali descent, as well as Miss Universe 1994. She is also the founder of ‘I Am Foundation’, and she single-handedly adopted two girls. 

In an interview, she explained her views on feminism: “You don’t have to run down the males to celebrate the females. It works in tandem – the yin and the yang. The whole process is teamwork. Feminism is not a female concept, it’s the concept of going beyond gender biases. Men and women have equal hand in exercising that. So, how do I see the role of men? Being team players as they should be and standing up in applauding for the right person to get the right job and the right wages and the right accomplishment to be celebrated and not said ‘oh she is just a woman’ – That would be a huge thing! ” 

What is your attitude on life? 
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and have failures. Don’t let your past define who you are today and who you are striving to be in the future. However, It is important to learn from the mistakes made and move ahead without repeating them. 

The most surreal experience you ever had: 
Watching the stunning sunset in the middle of a vast desert in Rajasthan while live traditional Rajasthani folk music was being played by the locals!