Samira began her journalism career in Dhaka, Bangladesh, covering the 2013 factory collapse, the country's ethnic and religious minorities, and its LGBT community. In New York, she covers America’s Muslim community, Jewish Muslim solidarity relations, interfaith peace, climate change, and the intersection of technology and social justice.

“I’ve never seen drivers as victims. They’re not victims. They’re agents of change. And when organized, they’re one of the most powerful agents of change. Like millions of people in our economy, the drivers are exploited. They’re a part of the 99%, but the 99% is not helpless. They’re just not in power.”
— Bhairavi Desai, NY Taxi Workers Alliance

How a red dot symbolised Kashmir resistance against India's move
Al Jazeera, August 2019

While the region remains locked down, Kashmiri diaspora uses social media to organise protests and mobilise opinion.

Facebook refused to take down this blackface page for 4 months
Daily Dot, June 2019

Over four months, more than 165 people either reported or negatively reviewed a page called Black Face featuring #blackfaces. I viewed every one of the reviews and they all had words such as "racist" and "hate." Facebook kept saying that the page didn't violate any "specific" community standards.

Facebook is still letting border militias organize on its platform
Daily Dot, May 2019

Throughout May, I monitored Facebook groups and pages featuring live videos of border militias confronting terrified migrants as they cross the border, interrogated or met with screams of "Go Back! You don't belong here!" from the militias -- some of whom are armed. These live videos receive tons of views and comments, inciting panic among supporters who think the migrants are bringing in diseases (wrong), drawing comments such as "cockroaches" among other names that dehumanize them. And Facebook is letting them do so.

Taxi drivers navigate a city stacked against them
The Juggernaut, April 2019

How South Asian taxi drivers, who make up nearly 50% of the taxi drivers in New York, are coping in the aftermath of a suicide spate in the community.

Angered by traffic deaths, students began to direct traffic in Bangladesh
NPR, August 2018

In August 2018, the death of two students outside Dhaka, a student-led uprising brought the Bangladeshi capital to a standstill — but for the right reasons. School students began directing and managing traffic in the city, until they came under brutal attack from the police.

U.S. Muslims Raise $190,000 for Burial of Jewish Pittsburgh Victims
Haaretz, October 2018

In October, following the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, the Muslim community had raised funds for the survivors. But what inspired it? The realization of how similar the two faiths are. On the day of the shooting, the director of Islamic Center of Pittsburgh thought of an added burden the families of the 11 victims would have to face: funeral costs.

Syrian refugees take U.S. landlord, govt. to court over claims of filthy housing
Reuters, May 2018

Eight Syrian refugee families in New Jersey, who have been living in mice/roaches/bed-bugs infested apartments with a drunk man trying to break one of their ceilings in the middle of the night, sued their landlord after he failed to respond to their complaints, and instead threatened or bullied them.

Six NYC taxi drivers have committed suicide since November
Al Jazeera, August 2018

For-hire drivers hope new cap on ride-sharing apps will help relieve financial pressure that some say is now unbearable.

After Parkland, this survivor is fighting for gun control and against Islamophobia
NBC, April 2018

Sara Imam, a Parkland shooting survivor, on what it's like to have a Muslim identity and rally for  gun reform in America under heightened Islamophobia. 

The silent lives of childhood sexual abuse survivors in America’s South Asian diaspora
The Lily (Washington Post), December 2017

Samiha Khan lived - in silence - a childhood of sexual abuse by her father. In death, she became the voice for other survivors in America's South Asian diaspora. How the culture of silence around sexual violence is exacerbated with concerns of filial values, immigration status, culture & religion - and so much more.

Immigrant to Trump Administration: My Wife Has Cancer, Let Me Stay in America
The Daily Beast, November 2017

Two weeks before his wife's cancer surgery, Riaz Talukdar is expected to show up to 26 Federal Plaza with a one-way ticket to his native Bangladesh. 

 Trump’s ICE removed a higher number of Africans in 2017, even as overall removals fell
Quartz, February 2018

The removal of Africans under Trump rose by 140% in 2017, according to the US immigration agency.

 Five Years After the Tragedy, Bangladesh's Rana Plaza Is Still Falling
The Wire.in, April 2018

The Rana Plaza collapse is known for its high death toll, but it’s lesser known for how it fell in the middle of a political crisis that has been brewing in the country. My reflection as a journalist who covered it five years ago.

Artists in Dhaka Feel the Cold Embrace of Chinese Censorship
The Wire, February 2016

Threats by the Chinese ambassador is all it took for the organisers of the Dhaka Art Summit 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, to cover up an exhibition critical of China’s record in Tibet. 

As a Muslim woman, Ilhan Omar’s 'As-salaam Aleikum' made me uncomfortable 
Haaretz, October 2018

Ilhan Omar made history in 2018 after winning the mid-term elections. Her victory was a sign of relief for many Muslims across the country. She began her victory speech with the Islamic salam—while it was a justifiably empowering move for many American Muslims, it resonated as something differently for me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instagram is hosting at least 50 ‘Black lives don’t matter’ pages
The Daily Dot, October 2019

While Facebook suspends accounts of Black folks who write 'white people', Instagram is hosting at least 50 accounts named 'Black Lives Don't Matter' -- with photo of white supremacy hand gesture, or a Black man in a noose, or descriptions such as 'Indians are smelly.'

Kashmir in focus at Muslim Day Parade in New York
Al Jazeera, September 2019

Organisers estimate nearly 3,000 people attended annual parade, which focused on security lockdown in Kashmir.

Instagram users share photos showing gruesome killing of 17-year-old Bianca Devins
Daily Dot, July 2019

After Instagram took down Brandon Clark's photos of Devins' decapitated body, numerous accounts cropped up offering to share the photos. Instagram told The Daily Dot that they had enough tools in place to ensure the photos wouldn't be re-uploaded but by late afternoon, I reviewed more than five such accounts, with at least two of them showing Devins' beheaded photo.

After Christchurch, US mosques bulk up security during Ramadan
Al Jazeera, May 2019

Increased security at mosques prompts debate among Muslim Americans over community's relationship with law enforcement.

First Palestinian museum in Washington, DC, opens (PRINT) (VIDEO)
Al Jazeera, June 2019

Museum of the Palestinian People will exhibit artwork, cultural documentation from Palestinian contributors worldwide.

How the fear of gun violence weaves itself into South Asian American lives
The Juggernaut, April 2019

The complex layers of trauma and anxiety South Asian Americans feel about gun violence — for most, the fear ranges from being victims, to the fear of being wrongfully implicated.

The lesbian Jewish-Palestinian couple using comedy to confront stereotypes
The Lily (Washington Post), Dec 2018

When Eman found herself in a relationship with Jess, at first she suspected that her partner was part of a "deep Mossad ploy" to spy on her. When Jess told her family she was marrying Eman, they feared she "would join Hamas": through it all, this Jewish-Palestinian gay couple have been breaking stereotypes not only for each other, but also for the world around them—through a space largely reserved for cisgender, heterosexual white men: comedy.

Are R. Kelly supporters are using
#FirstThem to protect him?

Daily Dot, January 2019

The #FirstThem hashtag aims to bring light to other musicians and artists, predominately white ones, who were once committing statutory rape and went unnoticed. On the surface, it was valuable in showing the pattern of men getting away with harming young girls. But the hashtag quickly spiraled into a defense for Kelly, with many saying that the R&B musician is a “smokescreen” to distract from allegations of abuse against white men.

Ohio doctor tweeted she would purposefully give Jewish patients wrong meds (updated)
Daily Dot, January 2019

Years-old anti-Semitic tweets from a doctor in Cleveland, Ohio resurfaced online this January, one that said she would purposefully give her Jewish patients the wrong medicine.

Palestinian women share photos of their thobes for Rep. Rashida Tlaib’s swearing-in
Daily Dot, January 2019

In celebration of the first Palestinian American being elected into Congress, Palestinian women shared photos of their traditional thobe (gown) -- each rich with their own story -- in solidarity with Rashida Tlaib with #TweetYourThobe.

U.S. Muslims Raise $190,000 for Burial of Jewish Pittsburgh Victims
Haaretz, Oct/Nov 2018

What inspired the Muslim community to raise funds for the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting victims? The realization of how similar the two faiths are. On the day of the shooting, the director of Islamic Center of Pittsburgh thought of an added burden the families of the 11 victims would have to face: funeral costs.

Rabbis petition against Israel in support of Rohingya
Al Jazeera, November 2017

Rabbis - from New York to Jerusalem - have petitioned against Israel to end arms supply to Myanmar, at a time when hundreds of thousands of Rohingyas are fleeing ethnic cleansing and there is no unified leadership addressing the issue. 

We’ve been using bad Africa deforestation data for years
Quartz, December 2017

Recent research shows deforestation rate in Africa is significantly lower than previously estimated. But it may not be for all the right reasons. 

The country with the highest CO2 emissions can help the continent with the lowest fight climate change
Quartz, January 2018

France is aiming to tackle climate change in Africa—and it wants help from China, which produced more greenhouse gas in 2017 than the entire continent of Africa.

Meet the girls who halt child marriages in Dhaka’s biggest slum (p. 14-15)
Dhaka Tribune, October 2015

Bangladesh has a poor record of child marriages. This band of girls living in the capital's biggest slum stop child marriages taking place in their community.                    

Secular beginnings, sacred calling
The Brooklyn Ink, December 2016    

These educated, secular women travelled hundreds of miles to become part of an Hasidic Jewish community.                                            

Bangladeshi Factory collapse survivors work at self-owned factory
Dhaka Tribune, November 2013

In the aftermath of one of the deadliest factory collapses in history, these workers in Bangladesh rose from the rubbles and started their own factory -- with benefits for children, profit for workers.          

The unseen prodigies at Qawmi madrasas
Dhaka Tribune, July 2014

The Qawmi madrasa students in Bangladesh are often ostracized from society because their education is not acknowledged by the government.                                                    

Taxi Driver
Trumplandia Magazine, May 2017

Profile of a Muslim, Bangladeshi immigrant working for Uber in the age of Trump.  

Culture of impunity behind series of grisly events
Dhaka Tribune, April 2014

The 2014 Bangladesh garment factory collapse in killed more than a thousand workers. But it wasn't the first. A look at similar incidents in Bangladesh in the past three decades.  
 

The for-refugees, by-refugees newspaper that prints in six different languages
Narratively, August 2017

This man taught himself English while in a prison in Myanmar. Today, he serves the Myanmar refugee community in Buffalo, NY, by writing and interpreting for Karibu News, a newspaper that publishes in six different languages for its refugee community. 

Coming Home to a Foreign Land: The Repatriation of Afghan Refugees
Reporting on Refugees, May 2017

Afghan refugees in Pakistan are being made to return to their homeland -- many were born in Pakistan, and are arriving in Afghanistan with few prospects for education or jobs.

The invisible struggle of Bangladeshi women in New York (VIDEO)
Dhaka Tribune, March 2017

Many Bangladeshi women are often married off to men living in the U.S. that promise them a better future in a foreign land. But once here, the women suffer from the language barrier, lack of sense of community, which in turn limit them from accessing services such as healthcare.

To each their own accent
(pg. 8 - 9) Dhaka Tribune, February 2016

In rural Khagrachori, in south-east Bangladesh, the indigenous community has found a way to rediscover and re-explore their disappearing language.             


Bylines

  • NBC
    New York, NY

  • Quartz
    New York, NY

  • Scroll.in
    Delhi, India

  • The Brooklyn Ink
    New York, NY

  • The Daily Beast
    New York, NY

  • The Lily, by The Washington Post
    Washington, D.C.

  • The Wire
    Delhi, India

rose.jpg

Cover image:

A woman sways a rose against the police barricades at JFK Terminal 4 as protesters gathered in hundreds to march against President Trump's executive ban. Click below for link to blog:

  • Reuters
    New York, NY

  • Al Jazeera
    Doha, Qatar

  • AJ+
    San Francisco, CA

  • Dhaka Tribune
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • Narratively
    New York, NY

  • New Age
    Dhaka, Bangladesh

  • Trumplandia Magazine
    New York, NY


All photography by Samira Sadeque unless otherwise stated.