Born in Pakistan, while Rida’s mother tongue is Urdu, her first language is Japanese as she lived on the small island of Amami Oshima near the Mangrove forest in Japan, exploring biodiversity with her scientist parents from two different ethnic tribes (Baloch and Punjabi). As her parents moved from Japan to Pakistan in 2001, Rida lived in Multan, known as the City of Sufis, developing a strong spiritual connection with Islam. In 2005, her parents migrated to the small-country town of Horsham near the Grampians, in Australia, where she finished her schooling and learned English and Chinese-Mandarin. It is through these multicultural, multi-spiritual experiences that Rida became a global citizen. You will often find her engaging in community advocacy, digital citizenship on social media and may even bump into her at one of Melbourne’s cultural events. Or you might see her on TV or hear her on radio or discover her playing with Wheel of Stars at Spellbox and listening to Celtic music while staring at a bactrian camel from Mongolia, sipping chai deep in her thoughts, desperate for the next episode of Game of Thrones.
Rida is a bicultural healthcare worker and believes that the only way she can heal her patients is by creating opportunities for human interaction at intellectually stimulating experiments with soul-food over countless conversations of politics, religion, rights, shared-responsibility and hopelessly romantic love. She believes in order for a person to be socially, emotionally and physically healthy, they need opportunities for deeper human interaction beyond medical services. She wanted to contribute to the Youth Ambassadors Program at CEH to break stereotypes regarding young Muslims and voice her complex personality via pluricultural identities of being a Pakistani-Australian-Muslim-Sufi-Baloch-Bisexual-Chocoholic-Girl, who is at times a protective sister, hygiene-obsessed housemate or just another girl with dreams of monogamous marriage, fearful of the unknown, doing her best to get by in a world full of people who are ignorant by choice despite internet access, libraries and educational institutes.