A Dunkin’ in the Washington Heights neighborhood of Manhattan | Nushrat Rahman

By: Nushrat Rahman

The Dunkin’ on West 43rd Street — a few minutes away from Bryant Park — blends into high rise facades.

Like most American fast food chains, walking into a Dunkin’ offers a consistent view: orange and pink furbishing, trays of donuts, bags of ground coffee, stacks of paper pouches and billboards for new specials, like the Beyond Meat breakfast sandwich. But in New York City, where Dunkin’ reigns as the biggest national retailer with more than 600 locations, there’s another consistency. …

Sakhi’s popular “Navigate Your City Program” for survivors at Coney Island before the
pandemic. Credit: Shyda Rashid

By Nushrat Rahman

For the past three years, women have been slipping into libraries to talk about abuse at home, in their shared native tongue. They walk from their homes in the Bronx and Queens with their children in tow, who receive homework help in nearby rooms, leaving the mothers to congregate in reclusive spaces where they connect with others who understand them. Because of cultural taboos around speaking out about domestic violence, the women, who are all Bangladeshi, struggle to acknowledge that abuse is taking place. But here, they’ve found a sense of safety to share their experiences.


There’s a split screen with moving pictures. My life is on one side and my mother’s is on the other side, parallel and in close proximity, depicting two faces, two people, two stories. The similarities are startling–unruly black brows and warm goofiness. There’s something familiar and comforting and striking about imagining these two people, both at twenty years old, separated only by a small stretch of about two decades or so.

But wrestling with the differences is what causes the moving pictures to reach a moment of stillness in my mind. These two women are not so familiar. They’re stuck…

Nushrat Rahman

Nushrat Rahman is a recent graduate of Columbia Journalism School. Currently, she is a reporter for the Detroit Free Press, via Report for America.

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