Purnia Farrukh is many things: architecture student, Middle Eastern, woman, artist, musician, but most importantly, she is brave. Her bravery is made most evident by the fact that at 22 years old, she came alone from Istanbul to the U.S. to pursue her education.
Most people don’t understand who they are and what they want to portray to the world until they are much older, but that is not the case for Purnia. When asked how she identifies, she has a clear vision, “I am a girl with Middle Eastern roots and I now live in Los Angeles and I attend Architecture school. I love design, but I also am a musician
and go around painting murals all over the cities of the world.
Right now some of my murals are in Singapore, Dubai, Karachi, Istanbul and my upcoming project is in downtown Santa Monica, Los Angeles. All of my pieces are regarding universalism, diversity and women’s empowerment.”
Though she loves living in Los Angeles, she says she is grateful for where she came from. “My dream is to one day have my own Interior Architecture firm, but having an international experience that ranges from the Middle East, Europe to North America granted me a larger perspective of the world and humanity in general. In macroscopic view, I am just a girl, but I have my own story that defines me and who I am.”
Purnia owns her past struggles as something that has given her an inner strength, “Overall, when I look back on life, every event in my life tied in together to orchestrate a greater picture and that has taught me to be grateful each day. I started my journey with a few emotional challenges and losses that can be extended to everyone's experience but what truly healed me was the love and passion I learned to generate myself as a young woman. To learn not to depend on anyone else for love, acceptance, passion and strength gave me life. Whenever I feel down, I remind myself of my ideals and goals; that always puts me back on track. One of my favorite quotes that my mother used to tell me time and again while I was growing up is by the Irani poet, Rumi, who said, ‘Do not get lost in your pain, know that one day your pain will become your cure."
And when she needs strength outside herself, she turns to one of her strong female role models. Her mother is her main inspiration,
“My mother is the reason I am everything today, her unwavering strength, practicality and sacrifices are the reason I aspire to be a strong young woman.”
Purnia also turns to the inspiration for her latest work, Malala Yousafzai.
Purnia finds inspiration through Malala’s work for other girls. “She vouches for female rights in education. I follow my dreams and passions in design travelling all over the world yet I love to promote female rights regardless of where I am!”
Just as Malala does for her, Purnia wants to inspire other girls and women “to look at things from a greater perspective and that is to be grateful each day, take care of your body, find the right people for your soul and ultimately love yourself more each day.”
And the biggest lesson she’s learned through her life is about the importance of love of yourself and other, “Once you fill yourself up with love, then you can overflow and give to others.”
To see more of Purnia and her journey, follow her @purrnia