My name is Mohuya, or as my friends and loved ones call me, Mou. Born and raised in New York, I find great pride in my city and my home country, Bangladesh. My grandparents were highly respected English teachers in Bangladesh and education has always been emphasized in my family. Following my grandparents footsteps, I decided to pursue English in my undergraduate career and consequently, the Childhood Education Program for my masters. Because of my background and deep love for story telling and educating others, I was able to speak about my unique identity and provide a story that people can easily connect with.
As a first-generation Bangladeshi-American, I knew that it was my responsibility to make my parents proud for all of the sacrifices they made. There was a time where I thought that was an impossible task. I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood which prevented me from having any interest in my roots and I didn't have a specific direction in life. My mother didn't understand why I would spend so long doing art for my high school classes instead of focusing on "important" subjects like math and science. My lack of interest in the STEM fields that the Desi mentality brainwashed me into thinking were the best and ONLY options made me feel like I wasn't doing the right thing. After many years of neglecting my artistic side, my love for it returned once I began to understand the struggles of my people and I started to incorporate pieces of my culture into my art. By becoming passionate about my country, it fueled me to spread awareness on unspoken issues, give a voice to a population that is misrepresented, and help underprivileged communities. Now, I am a director and editor of a non-profit organization called Bangladesh Development Project (@bddevelop) that focuses on fighting against child labor laws, improving access to education and healthcare, preventing early marriage, and putting an end to prostitution in Bangladesh. I also plan to teach English to impoverished communities in Bangladesh.
I created Labyrinthave to empower the Desi community through art and story telling. Growing up, we were greatly misrepresented in media and our unique experiences were rarely ever highlighted. I felt insignificant because I didn't have anyone to look up to that shared the same background as me. I wanted to be the representation that I never had. Our Desi ancestors were incredibly strong and resilient. We've gone through genocides, wars, and generations of trauma. Their and our voices deserve to be heard. I wanted to provide a platform where people are able to connect through art and story telling and have finally the representation that they always deserved.
Now, I am very confident with my future aspirations and my parents are extremely proud of my career choices and passions. I am excited to see what the future holds.