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Guide to the Muslims in Brooklyn oral histories 2018.006

Brooklyn Historical Society
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Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Elena Locascio

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 13, 2019
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

 Revised by Maggie Schreiner to reflect updated access restrictions.  , April 2019

Container List

Oral History Interview with Syeda Akter, May 22, 2018

Biographical / Historical

Syeda Akter was born in 1965 in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). She immigrated to the United States to join her husband after their marriage. They initially settled in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn, and then moved to the Sunset Park neighborhood of Brooklyn to raise their family. She co-founded the Brooklyn chapter of Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM), an activist organization aimed at empowering South Asian New Yorkers, became involved in a local ladies' club, and also spent many years working for small medical practices doing both office work and basic medical procedures.

Scope and Contents

In this interview, Syeda Akter discusses her upbringing in Bangladesh, following her husband to the United States, and her entry into the medical field. She also speaks about working while being her children's primary caregiver, her commitment to her children's education, and friction over her personal thoughts on religious teachings. In addition, she talks about her friendship with Annie Ferdous (interviewed on May 25, 2018 for this collection), their involvement with a local ladies' club, and co-founding the South-Asian and Indo-Caribbean-led Desis Rising Up and Moving (DRUM). Interview conducted by Liz H. Strong.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Names

  • Akter, Syeda
  • Ferdous, Annie

Subject Organizations

  • Bangladesh Institute of Performing Arts (Queens, New York, N.Y.)
  • Desis Rising Up and Moving (Queens, New York, N.Y.)

Subject Topics

  • Arranged marriage -- Bangladesh
  • Bangladeshis -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Child rearing -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Immigrants -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Islam -- Customs and practices
  • Islamic education of children -- New York (State) -- New York (State)
  • Medical assistants -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Muslim families -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Women in Islam

Subject Places

  • Bangladesh
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • East New York (New York, N.Y.)
  • Kensington (New York, N.Y.)