Bangladeshi Rumana returns to White House wearing hijab

BanglaPress Desk
January 27, 2021

Staff Reporter: Rumana Ahmed, a Bangladeshi victim of the Trump administration’s hatred, has returned to the White House, wearing hijab. Although she left the White House at the time, Rumana re-entered the White House during the reign of newly elected US President Joe Biden. She has joined seven members of the United States Agency for Global Media (USAJim) review panel.
Rumana was often humiliated by Trump’s people for wearing the hijab. No one could take him normally. Rumana wrote a column in The Atlantic stating the reasons behind her resignation in 2017. After the article was published, a storm of criticism swept across the United States.
Her father left Bangladesh for the United States in 1978 to study. Her mother started working as a cashier in a shop in the country. She later started a day-care center on his own initiative.
Dad worked as a late night employee at Bank of America. Later, he was promoted to the position of Assistant Vice President of a branch. Rumana’s father’s dream was to do a PhD. But in 1995, that dream stopped. Her father was killed in a car accident.

Rumana joined the administration of former US President Barack Obama after graduating from George Washington University. During the Obama administration, she served on the country’s National Security Council. Rumana said in the column that her position in the White House was weakened when Obama left power. She had to quit her job.
“My job was to serve the country,” Rumana said. I was the only hijabist in the West Wing. The Obama administration has always welcomed me. Rumana writes in the column, like other Muslims, in 2016, I also continue to watch Trump’s work. I thought I should be in his administration for the country. I was able to last eight days.
Rumana said that when Trump imposed travel bans on seven Muslim-majority countries, I realized I had no more time. I keep thinking, I work in an administration that sees me as a subordinate citizen, as a threat. I started wearing hijab from the age of 12. The family encouraged me but it was my own choice. It was a symbol of my faith, being and tolerance.
Rumana could endure so much deprivation inspired by the Islamic discourse taught by her father. Her father used to say in Bengali, when someone throws you away, you will get up. They will call him brother when they meet.