• Saturday, August 30, 2014

Star People

Awe-inspiring strength

Awe-inspiring strength

The Acid Survivor's Foundation (ASF) was established in May of 1999 by Dr John Morrison, to address the growing number of acid attacks in Bangladesh. “During that time, there were about 500 reported attacks a year, and there was no organisation to specifically address this increasingly rampant crime,” says Selina Ahmed, Executive Director...

For Justice and Equality

For Justice and Equality

Country Director of ActionAid, Bangladesh and Human Development practitioner, Farah Kabir is one of the pioneers of this country who has tirelessly worked for women's rights, equality and recognition and has successfully brought changes to our society. An Honour's and Master's holder, Farah majored in Public Administration when studying at Dhaka University (DU). After university, Farah went on to work at the Bangladesh Institute of International and Strategic Studies (BIISS) as a research assistant. “While working at BIISS, I had to write about strategic issues and international politics. After a while, I started leaning towards gender and woman related issues. I managed to create the gender dimension there,” says Farah....

Beyond the Classroom Walls

Beyond the Classroom Walls

Sabhanaz Rashid Diya was hardly in her teens when she began to write, voice out opinions and dream about creating changes. A social entrepreneur, she founded One Degree Initiative Foundation in 2006. As a non-profit that works on mentoring youth and empowering children, Diya's role is to strategise and innovate constantly for the...

Through the Years

Published Date: August 23, 2014
Bangladeshi Photographers

Bangladeshi Photographers

Bangladeshi Photographers (BP) is a community of photographers that was started in September 2005 as an online group in Flickr by Mohammad Raqibul Hasan. “Bangladesh has a lot of talent in this field. I recognised that a long time ago, but I could not find a way to physically connect all of them...

Published Date: August 23, 2014
Poetry of Portraits

Poetry of Portraits

Born in July 1, 1953, Nasir Ali Mamun is described as the father of portrait photography in Bangladesh. He is best known for his portraits of internationally recognised celebrities such as Stephen Hawking, Mother Teresa, Dr Muhammad Yunus, S M Sultan and many more. He has done over 53 solo exhibitions and has...

Published Date: August 23, 2014
Activism Through Photography

Activism Through Photography

Taslima Akhter is widely known for her photograph, 'Last Embrace,' which depicts the heart wrenching image of two victims of the Rana Plaza tragedy, locked in a desperate embrace under the rubble. This photograph, featured in the Time Magazine as one of the top ten photos of 2013, is not just a haunting...

Published Date: August 16, 2014
Science and Percussions

Science and Percussions

Syud Momtaz Ahmed portrays an image of success that every Bangladeshi youth dreams of achieving. At the age of 29, he is a Senior Scientist at 3M, a renowned multinational conglomerate corporation based in St. Paul Minnesota, USA. Like many of us, Momtaz began his academic career right here in Dhaka. He completed his O'Levels at Sunbeams School and A'Levels from MasterMind School. “My original plan was to study medicine in Bangladesh and maybe leave for a higher degree later,” he tells us, “But after my O' Levels, there was a huge push from my parents, to apply for colleges in the United States. I got admitted to a small...

Published Date: August 16, 2014
The Melody of Transcendence

The Melody of Transcendence

Nourishing her talent from a considerably young age, Sadya Afreen Mallick is a name known well in the field of music, especially Nazrul Sangeet. “After my initial training under Sudhin Das, I joined Chhayanaut at the age of nine where I finished the seven-year course on classical music and Nazrul Sangeet and graduated with...

Published Date: August 16, 2014
Letters from the Past

Letters from the Past

One look at the book and you might think of it as being a documentation of history; maybe even flip it away for a thriller or romance for a rainy day. But as they say, don't judge a book by its cover. 'Shadhinotar hajaar duaar, nirbashoner chinthi' is so much more than real...

Published Date: August 9, 2014
Rising to the Top

Rising to the Top

 Torikul Islam, a young man in his early twenties, is a student, trying to work his way towards a BBA degree from a private university. A straight 'A' undergraduate, Torikul, in his fifth semester, plans to major in Finance and eventually join a bank. A huge fan of actors Chanchal Chowdhury, Mosharraf Karim,...

Published Date: August 9, 2014
A Passion for Achievement

A Passion for Achievement

Science was always been a subject of interest for Sharmin Akter. From when she was a child, she wanted to study something related to medicine, if not medicine itself. After finishing school and college in Bamoil Ideal School and College, Demra, and Ideal School and College, Motijheel, respectively, Sharmin got herself enrolled into Dhaka University to pursue a Bachelor's Degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After graduating in the first division, being one of the top 15 scorers, she continued studying Biochemistry for her Master's Degree and all on scholarship. Sharmin's father, a peon in an  office along with her homemaker mother, would always encourage her in school. They did...

Published Date: August 9, 2014
Sky's the Limit

Sky's the Limit

Over the last few years, young people have been proud builders of a distinguished generation -- in many ways. The two biggest obstacles young people face is poverty and illiteracy, for which life gets a lot harder for most. Jasmin Akhter is one, who can inspire a lot of people as she overcame these obstacles and much more on her own. Coming from a lower middle class background, Jasmin proved to everyone around her that if you have the will, you will find a way. “When I was little, I wanted to be in the corporate world. But very soon I had a harsh reality check when I realised that the...

Published Date: August 2, 2014
In a Nutshell

In a Nutshell

This is a short profile on Dr Hafiz GA Siddiqi, a passionate educator, a powerful mentor and immensely popular amongst students for his soft spoken nature and jovial personality. It is probably next to impossible to fill up the allotted space with Dr Siddiqi's activities, his contribution to education in Bangladesh, the positive...

Published Date: August 2, 2014
Pushing the boundaries

Pushing the boundaries

Charismatic and lively are the words that come to mind when one thinks of the Station In- Charge of Radio Shadhin and actress Sriya Sharbojoya. With a BA in Anthropology and a minor in Economics from Smith College in the USA, Sriya returned to her home country to do something fresh and different that would help influence the society for the better. She started working behind the scenes at the Asiatic 360 group doing production related work, after which she moved on to advertising. During this time she was also working as an RJ for the ABC Radio. “I have always loved performing during my school days and college days,”...

Published Date: August 2, 2014
Click by Click

Click by Click

Mohammad Rakibul Hasan graduated in Film and Video Production from UBS Film School at the University of Sydney, Australia, where he was inspired into photography. “While studying there, I realised that not only motion pictures are strong visuals, still pictures can also deliver a compelling message,” says Hasan. Through this realisation, he had...

Published Date: July 26, 2014
25000 In Red

25000 In Red

Charity is an integral part of our religion and culture. This Ramadan, a leading mobile telecom operators, Robi Axiata, has come up with an innovative idea to help their customers spread the Eid spirit among the underprivileged with little cost and effort. “The promotional idea we came up with was that every time a...

Published Date: July 26, 2014
Charity for the Soul

Charity for the Soul

“Every year there are people who can afford to give zakat to people other than relatives and neighbours," says Riyad Shahir Ahmed Husain, one of the founders of Zakat Connect. "They have the money, but it is not going towards any sustainable cost. People give away lungis and sarees, but if the zakah...

Published Date: July 26, 2014
For The Smiles That Matter

For The Smiles That Matter

100 Smiles is an annual flagship project by One Degree Initiative Foundation (1di). Every year, it is held area wise where volunteers appointed by 1di are present to accompany the underserved community children present for the project. This year, being the 5th year of 100 Smiles, the event was hosted at the Lalmatia...

Published Date: July 26, 2014
Spreading The Eid Spirit

Spreading The Eid Spirit

The month of Ramadan is known for the month of giving, spreading the joy of Eid all around. Organisations and NGO's bring their A game to support those who are in need. All kinds of volunteerism and charity work are taken up. Volunteer for Bangladesh (VBD) with Jaago, a school for the underprivileged, is...

Published Date: July 19, 2014
For That Perfect Dress

For That Perfect Dress

Eid shopping is something that always puts people in a dilemma- which places to visit, when to make time, how to do it without hassle, and much more. Even when you go to your favourite stores, picking out the perfect Eid dress can take a toll on you. To make matters much easier,...

Published Date: July 19, 2014
Bottoms Up!

Bottoms Up!

Every year the month of Ramadan brings with it the revival of age old traditions. While countless new restaurants have attracted customers with their own unique Iftar menus, the people of Dhaka still find time to visit the one place that holds memories from almost everyone’s childhoods. The Kaleidoscopic colours, vibrant community and delicious smells of Old Dhaka remain unavoidable during this month.   One of the most unique aspects of iftar here are the refreshing and original drink recipes the Old Town vendors have mastered. For the past 79 years, Beauty Lassi and Kachi has been serving lemonade that will quench the deepest of thirsts and leave the drinker...

Published Date: July 12, 2014
Project Haate Khori

Project Haate Khori

Don't be surprised if you happen to find a group of child domestic workers studying in a makeshift class held in the community hall of your apartment building, your neighbour's garage or even in your own apartment. It is a Haate Khori classroom. Haate Khori, one of the endeavors of 1⁰ Initiative, is a...

Published Date: July 12, 2014
Iftar on the Streets

Iftar on the Streets

When it comes to iftar, us Bangalis go head over heels for all the fried food we can get our hands on. Despite the fact that we aim for the healthy side every year, deep within, we know that's not happening! What if one could buy genuine home cooked meals right off the...

Published Date: July 12, 2014
For A Healthy Ramadan

For A Healthy Ramadan

Almost half the month has flown by and Ramadan seems to be getting all the more colourful with food and shopping. Despite the shopping and cooking frenzy, however, people do seem to be slightly confused over what to eat, how to take care of one's health and of course, how to stay fit. Masuma Akhter, a popular nutritionist in Dhaka, says that every Ramadan, she gets to meet the three kinds of patients. "Firstly, there are those who gain a lot of weight in the month of Ramadan," says Akhter. Ironically, people consume an extra quantity of calories during and after iftar, which they normally would avoid. "We tend...

Published Date: July 5, 2014
Making Life Creative

Making Life Creative

Since she was a little girl, Sharmin Rahman was always inclined towards things a little 'outside-the-box'. The first time her uniqueness was discovered was when her mother caught her making little drawings all over her clothes instead of studying. With the love of drawing and the knack for creativity, Sharmin knew that she...

Published Date: July 5, 2014
Fulfilling a Dream

Fulfilling a Dream

Autoshi Abdullah has wanted to be a designer for as long as she can remember. A student of Computer Science, she decided not to pursue her studies once she was married and instead, decided to fulfil her dream to enter the world of fashion. “I used to design clothes for myself at first,” she tells us, “But once my friends and family saw how well I did this, they insisted I start designing things for them as well! That is when I decided to start my business.” Autoshi started off with a facebook page where she advertised her work and once that became popular she decided to open a small...

Published Date: July 5, 2014
The Art of a Shutter

The Art of a Shutter

Over the years the young generation of our country has shown huge potential when it comes to photography. Exhibiting their frames all over the world, they have set the bar high for future generations. Pranabesh Das is one of them we can be proud of. By wining prestigious awards such as PSA best of show 18th Georgia in 2008, FC Oldenzaal bronze medal in International Photography Circuit in Holland back in 2012 and an honourable mention at GEF Photo Contest at Germany in 2009; Pranabesh has proven to be one of the most acclaimed photographers in Bangladesh. Coming from a physics background, photography was always a hobby to Pranabesh. “After...

Your Social Business Guide:

Published Date: June 28, 2014
Social Business Pedia

Social Business Pedia

Looking to start a business or want to know what's going on in the world of social business? Then Social Business Pedia is where you should go. Social Business Pedia (SBP) or as Professor Yunus calls it 'Social Business Knowledge Mall', is a free web portal dedicated to facilitate social businesses. A brainchild of...

Published Date: June 28, 2014
Business for Change

Business for Change

The concept of social business was first established back in 2008 by the Nobel peace laureate Dr Muhammed Yunus. The theory was to address social issues by combining business know-how with the desire to improve the quality of life. Since then people all over the world, especially the youth, are implanting this ideology...

Published Date: June 28, 2014
More than Just a Helping Hand

More than Just a Helping Hand

Since childhood, Ayesha Akhtar has watched her parents do everything they can in their power to help the underprivileged. Growing up in an established household, where philanthropy was a way of life, Ayesha followed her parents’ footsteps. Learning from all that her family had done, Ayesha took it upon herself to carry on...

Published Date: June 21, 2014
Living through Brushstrokes

Living through Brushstrokes

Anika Mariam Ahmed grew up in a family of academics- architects and doctors. And even though they appreciated art with utmost enthusiasm, they didn't see a career in the subject and left it to be nurtured as a hobby or passion. However, Anika was determined to turn this passion of hers into a...

Published Date: June 21, 2014
GOT PAAN?

GOT PAAN?

The tradition of eating a well made paan after a heavy meal has been a part of our culture for centuries. Although many of the customs associated with paan have now waned, they are still served at weddings and a small crowd of people can always be found around the local paanwallah (seller)....

Published Date: June 21, 2014
The Balancing Act

The Balancing Act

Amit Chowdhury has not only proved to be a prominent Bharatanatyam dancer, but also proved that it always pays off when you stay true to your passion. Over the years he has directed and performed a host of productions including Tagore's famous 'Mayar Khela,' 'Tasher Desh,' 'Fireflies,' and many more. Amit also performed...

Published Date: June 7, 2014
For a Better Tomorrow

For a Better Tomorrow

If you take a walk to Shahbagh on a sunny weekday and happen to pass by a footpath next to Aziz Market, you will find yourself looking at an intriguing sight. A group of about 70 shabbily dressed street children, sitting on the side of the road, books open in front of them,...

Published Date: June 7, 2014
Just For Laughs

Just For Laughs

Graduating from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering, and getting his Master's degree on the same subject from The University of Michigan -- naturally, Naveed Mahbub was destined to be a big-shot engineer. However, Naveed simply could not ignore the talent -- the power to...

Published Date: May 31, 2014
Preserving a Lifestyle

Preserving a Lifestyle

Food has become a major source of concern of late for us Bangladeshis. The main cause of this is artificial preservatives and chemical fertilisers and pesticides that have negative effects on health, in some cases causing death. In such times, we look for healthy produce, preferably those which have been farmed using organic...

Published Date: May 31, 2014
A Journey Unexpected

A Journey Unexpected

Coming from an ordinary middle class family and spending his childhood in Bhairab, his hometown, Din M Sumon Rahman thought he was destined to become a businessman like his father. He studied in a local school there and led quite an ordinary life until he came across 'Khela Ghor'- a center for the practice of extra-curricular activities. “I used to go to their library and read as much as I possibly could. I immersed myself in books about politics, history, fiction, science fiction- whatever I had come across,” says Sumon. He also began writing then and wrote for some newspapers and other magazines. In the year 1967, he joined Jahangir Nagar...

Published Date: May 31, 2014
The Story of an Idea Guy

The Story of an Idea Guy

Wahid Ibn Reza, popularly known as Bappy amongst friends, family and colleagues, is a writer, actor, and filmmaker. "I am an 'idea guy'," he says." I don't call myself a talented person. I am simply a hard worker who believes in the word 'smile'." After completing a BSc in Mechanical Engineering from BUET, the...

Published Date: May 24, 2014
Brainstorming with Dr Goswami

Brainstorming with Dr Goswami

For book lovers, young scholars and researchers of Kazi Nazrul Islam -- our local libraries, online platforms and bookstores leave much to be desired for. With a poor archiving system in the country -- both online and off -- the desire to know more about the National Poet dies even before a young...

Published Date: May 24, 2014
Dukhu Mia's Melody

Dukhu Mia's Melody

Dilshad Nahar Kona is a well known singer of our country. From her hit song 'Jaymitik Bhalobasha' in 2006 to being one of the singers of the ICC theme song 'Char Chokkha Hoi Hoi', Kona has proved her self to be an iconic singer in popular culture. But a lot of people don't...

Published Date: May 24, 2014
Power of Nazrul's Words

Power of Nazrul's Words

Laila Afroze is well known for poetry reading/recitation. She, like many others, believes that the Bangladeshi culture revolves around a few of the greatest names in the areas of music, dance and literature- one of them being Kazi Nazrul Islam. “When Bangladeshi culture is discussed, whether the past, present, or the future, Nazrul's name will always be one of the first to come up,” says Afroze. Nazrul saw things and recognised things differently. “One of the first things that I would like to say is how Nazrul saw and appreciated women, for example, in his poem 'Nari',” says Afroze. She elaborates, “In the poem he talks about a woman being...

Published Date: May 17, 2014
The art of the shakhari

The art of the shakhari

If you ever decide to pay a visit to the famous Shakhari Bazaar in Old Dhaka, make sure you stop by Sridhar Shankha Bhandar for a glimpse into the history of this 400-year-old neighbourhood. Tamo Nag, the proprietor of this shop, still practices the craftwork mastered by his forefathers for generations--the art of...

Published Date: May 17, 2014
Breaking all Boundaries

Breaking all Boundaries

Like many schools in the country, Naziria Naymia Mahmudia Madrasa, is housed inside an old building, with cracked wall-paint and under construction structures in Chandgao, an old area of Chittagong. However, this Alia madrasa is different from any other madrasas in terms of academic curriculum, extra-curricular activities, and not to mention, a spirited...

Published Date: May 17, 2014
'Tech'-ing it Further

'Tech'-ing it Further

Atiqun Nabi is a young man who dreams of changing the world with the power of technology. This 25-year-old brought about positive changes in the field, which he takes pride in. Most of Atiqun's works revolves around security systems. One of his best inventions yet is that of a microchip that works as a SIM card inside Fire Control Panels. “I remembered the Bashundhara City incident when it caught fire on a holiday and no one was there to hear the smoke detectors go off before the fire spread. That's generally what the smoke detector is for -- to detect the fire before it spreads and causes more damage,” says...

Published Date: May 10, 2014
Tales from the Maestro

Tales from the Maestro

Ahmed Rafiq is not only recognised for playing a central part in our language movement, he is also known as a distinguished writer and a prominent researcher on Nobel Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore and his literature. In 1995 he received the most prestigious award of our nation-- the “Ekushe Podok”-- for his outstanding contribution...

Published Date: May 10, 2014
For water sovereignty

For water sovereignty

"Water has encircled the rugged earth as if in an embrace. The earth does not understand the innermost mysteries of the ocean. Water does not grow crops but in its absence, the earth would not have one blade of grass"- Rabindranath Tagore (Learning from Nature- Remembering Tagore, by Navdanya). These words, written over a...

Published Date: May 10, 2014
The Rhythm in Rabindranath

The Rhythm in Rabindranath

Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore is best known as a poet and philosopher. However, his creative talent extended well beyond this, to music, to painting, and to dance. Tagore had his own distinct and original dance form- Rabindranrittya. “Between the years of 1919 to the year of 1924, Rabindranath Tagore journeyed regularly all over India...

Published Date: May 3, 2014
Bils: Establishing Workers Rights

Bils: Establishing Workers Rights

Bangladesh Institute of Labour Studies, popularly known as Bils, is quite the dynamic organisation. Through out the year, Bils works towards establishing rights of workers and helping them enjoy the facilities that they deserve. This year, along with the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Bangladesh, Bils has created a modality through which...

Published Date: May 3, 2014
Woman behind the wheel

Woman behind the wheel

This year's May Day has brought with it many reports of progress within our labour force, one being in the area of female empowerment. More and more Bangladeshi women are assuming roles within the workforce that were once predominantly male, not only in the white collar bracket, but in the lower spheres as well. Anowara Begum, who works as a driver at the Gonoshasthya Nagar Hospital, is one of them. The 49-year-old driver who has been in this profession for the past 17 years, started off working as a mechanic in a small shop in Cox's Bazaar. “I have always wanted to learn how to drive,” says Anowara. “When my...

Published Date: May 3, 2014
Juggling with Both Hands

Juggling with Both Hands

Self-reliability is one of the best feelings one can experience. Though people in most countries learn to live on their own earlier on in their lives, it is kind of hard to be self-dependent and continue one's education in a developing country like ours. But this scenario is changing rapidly. More and more...

Published Date: April 26, 2014
For the bookworms: Rokomari.com

For the bookworms: Rokomari.com

Fiction, technology, translations of international books, plays, satires, beauty or programming--name a book genre and you will find it on Rokomari.com. Rokomari.com, a Bangladeshi online shopping portal, is an e-commerce venture of Onnorokom Web Services Ltd, a sister concern of Onnorokom Group. It is an e-bookstore that sells mostly books, music albums, movies and...

Published Date: April 26, 2014
Rescuing the Industry

Rescuing the Industry

Piracy and illegal downloads has been the downfall of the music industry -- say the ever struggling musicians in Bangladesh. There were no initiatives taken by anyone to solve this problem and for that, the industry fell into a dark hole. Finally, Mushroom Entertainment came to save the day with their invention-- the...

Published Date: April 26, 2014
Artist, craftsman and humanitarian

Artist, craftsman and humanitarian

A poet, an artist, a photographer, a musician and a craftsman, Asad Iqbal Sumon leads a full, interesting life. Always one to deviate from the norm, Sumon could never abide by the rules and regulations of a formal education in art. “I joined the art department of YODA, right after I got my...

Published Date: April 19, 2014
Computers For All

Computers For All

Caffe (Computers Are Free for Everyone) is an NGO that strives to provide technology based educational opportunities to the most underprivileged children of our society. How this organisation was formed, is an inspirational story. In 2004, Luke Doyle, a high school teacher from the UK was sent to Bangladesh by Voluntary Service Overseas...

Published Date: April 19, 2014
On The Move

On The Move

From being a student of SFX Green Herald International School, to graduating from the New York Film Academy; from training under Bollywood Guru Kishore Namit Kapoor to training under the skillful and poised Mira Nair, Alex McKenzie's story is nothing short of a wonder and it keeps getting better. “Filmmaking, for me, happened when...

Published Date: April 19, 2014
New blood in Filmmaking

New blood in Filmmaking

What is that one thing we all want in life? Of course, happiness. Not to mention, Bangladesh has ranked amongst the happiest nations in the world. With this idea in mind and passion in heart, a group of film and photography enthusiasts came together to form The Bengali Filmmakers (TBF). “We wanted a...

Published Date: April 12, 2014
Celebrating Haalkhata

Celebrating Haalkhata

Haripada Bhakto is one of the many respected traders in Ghorashal, a village located around 50 km from Dhaka. For the last 20-25 years, Bhakto has been running a shop at the Ghorashal Bazaar, buying and selling rice, pulses, vegetables and other basic essentials necessary to the villagers. In these many years, like...

Published Date: April 12, 2014
The Essence of Baishakh

The Essence of Baishakh

Biswajit Bhowmik lives in Ghorasal in the Narsindi district with his wife and three daughters. A farmer by profession, he also runs a small convenience shop on the side to help with his livlihood. This year, Bhowmik, like countless other Bengalis, is looking forward to Pahela Baishakh (the Bengali New Year). To him...

Published Date: April 12, 2014
Talking about Heritage

Talking about Heritage

Professor Kazi Madina is not only recognised by the academic community for her knowledge and publications about our country's heritage and unique traditions, she is also known as a cultural personality and one of the most renowned recitation artistes in the country. In 2013, she received the Naren Biswas Award for her contribution...

Published Date: April 5, 2014
Helping the Hungry

Helping the Hungry

One of the most common phenomena amongst the current generation is to fall head over heels for good, mouth-watering, proteins and carbohydrate filled food, especially in a city like Dhaka where there're so many choices of restaurants. But in a busy, not to mention jam-packed city like ours, it's hard to find time...