The Bangladeshi Surf Star Defying Cultural Taboos. Nasima Akter, 18, went against cultural taboos in Bangladesh against women swimming to take on the waves and become a surfer. She stuck with the sport when villagers disapproved of her girls surf club and called them whores, and then she went on to win local surf competitions. Filmmaker Heather Kessinger’s upcoming documentary The Most Fearless follows three years of the teen’s struggles to keep surfing.
Meet Ali Najmi, the Man Heems Is Trying to Get Elected to City Council. Defense attorney Ali Najmi, 30, is running for City Council in New York’s 23rd district, where he and childhood friend and rapper Himanshu Suri grew up. His campaign’s benchmark platform is senior centers. He also hopes to make Diwali a NY school holiday and is a champion of the city’s taxi drivers. The 23rd district includes sections heavily populated by South Asian families.
And in this community, being a South Asian kid from the neighborhood does indeed go a long way. After knocking on one door, an old man stopped Najmi and Suri halfway through their spiel, explaining that it wasn’t necessary. “Apo tho hamara banda hay,” he said in Hindi, echoing a common sentiment in the community. “You’re one of ours.” (Village Voice)
Should Najmi win the race this fall, he will become the first elected official of South Asian descent in the history of New York City.
Attorney in Gov. Rick Scott administration running for Congress in north Florida. Mary Thomas would be the first woman of South Asian descent ever elected to Congress if she’s elected. (Dalip Singh Saund was the first South Asian American man elected to Congress.)
Thomas is general counsel in the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. She announced Wednesday that she’ll run as a Republican for Congress in the state’s 2nd District. Her objectives include repealing the Affordable Care Act, eliminating the U.S. Dept. of Education and Common Core Standards and a hard line against undocumented immigration.
Her parents, Tom and Annie Thomas are physicians who immigrated from India in 1972, which Thomas says is why she has such strong opposition to undocumented immigration.
“My family story is a shining example of the American dream,” she said. “Illegal immigration is deeply personal to me and my family.” (Tampa Bay Times)