In her youth, Fathimath Eliza Rasheed developed a deeply rooted connection to her cultures. She used this connection to challenge the preconceived notions she encountered after immigrating to the U.S.
Born in 1984, Ms. Rasheed lived in Taipei, Taiwan until she was eight years old. She moved to the Maldives in order to spend time with her extended family and to learn about her Maldivian heritage. Although she did not have formal schooling there, she learned something more valuable: what it means to be Maldivian.
She spent the next few years living in several countries around the world before finally settling down in Indonesia. Eliza attended an international high school where she was introduced to the idea of going to an American college. She ultimately decided to attend Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. When she arrived in Minnesota, Ms. Rasheed had a difficult time adjusting to being a part of a racial minority group. In her own words, she “truly understood what it means to be the ‘other’”. She found sanctuary in theater and uses her art to express her individuality.
Currently, Ms. Rasheed is a playwright. Her work has been produced at venues like Pillsbury House Theatre’s Chicago Avenue Project and The One-Minute Play Festival. Additionally, she teaches a middle school theater program where she encourages and empowers her students to share their life stories.