Hasan Zillur Rahim

Euphoria in Egypt

February 13, 2011
Euphoria in Egypt

In just 18 days, young Egyptians waged a peaceful revolution that brought down the 30-year dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak and his failed police state. Inspired by Tunisians, empowered by social media and driven by a fierce yearning for freedom, they tore down the wall of fear and made Egypt free.

“I look at our society with a critical eye and find nothing extraordinary in the people I see,” wrote Naguib Mahfouz (1911-2006) during a dark moment in his life. How the Egyptian Nobel Laureate (Literature, 1988) would have exulted if he could see his people making history in Tahrir Square! Read more »

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Ramya Sarma

Taking a break

February 12, 2011
Taking a break

Everybody loves a holiday, more so when there is no real reason to have one. Many working professionals do their thing through the week, looking forward to Sundays or even two-day weekends, while some who work in government organisations get breaks more often, as the bank or office or department takes time off whenever the local authorities declare it to be a time-out. And of course, especially on the sub-continent, play day is, logically speaking, time to take a day off and…err…play! Like next week, on February 19, when Bangladesh plays India, and next month, on March 19, when Bangladesh will play South Africa in the World Cup line-up. Read more »

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Meer Ahsan Habib

Revolutionising the approach of aid

February 10, 2011
Revolutionising the approach of aid

The question whether aid has really contributed to the overall development of recipient countries (mainly 49 low income LDCs) is still unclear. There is no evidence that development aid has made significant contribution in uplifting a country’s economic and human development status.

The poor number of graduated countries also supports this fact. The UN-OHRLLS’s Basic Facts About LDCs 2010 shows that more than half the population of these countries live on less than $1.25 (PPP) per day. Read more »

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Matiur Rahman

Educate properly to exit poverty

February 9, 2011
Educate properly to exit poverty

Educate the nation properly to produce productive and diligent workforce with risk-taking entrepreneurial skills for national competitiveness at global marketplaces. Innovative, adaptive, and dynamic education system emphasising both effective life-long learning/teaching that transcends classrooms, and research and development has the power to generate a virtuous circle of economic prosperity, and hence the enhancing well-being of the society. Read more »

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Adnan Morshed

Arial Beel’s Versailles moment

February 8, 2011
Arial Beel’s Versailles moment

I have to acknowledge that I felt deeply conflicted about the proposed airport project at Arial Beel.

On the one hand, in the age of globalisation and global mobility an airport is after all the de facto gateway to a country. That crucial first impression is made at the airport. The poorly designed and stinking toilets at the Shahjalal International Airport take on, sadly, a kind of national character. If Bangladesh has an image problem, it tends to begin at the antiquated luggage-retrieving belts of the Dhaka airport. Read more »

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Frank Domenico Cipriani

Windshield or rear view mirror: an American motorist’s view on Bangladesh elections

February 7, 2011
Windshield or rear view mirror: an American motorist’s view on Bangladesh elections

In about a week, my daughter, at age 17, who has already clocked hours at the controls of both gliders and small motorised aircraft, will face her greatest challenge: she will take the road test that will qualify her to hold a driver’s license. When my daughter is in the air, I feel reassured. You can move in three dimensions, forward, always forward. No traffic can impede your progress, no drunken maniac can swerve across the line to plow you down. For her, however, the test’s most daunting requirement is the one thing that flight instruction never prepares you for: driving in reverse. Like so many young forward-looking teenagers, she finds driving in reverse the greatest challenge of all. Read more »

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Afsan Chowdhury

Meherjaan controversy: It’s not about the film, but about us and our history

February 6, 2011
Meherjaan controversy: It’s not about the film, but about us and our history

The film ‘Meherjaan’ depicting a Bangladeshi woman’s 1971 experiences including a relationship with a Pakistani Baloch soldier has caused great controversy. Reading the reactions, it becomes obvious that it’s not about the film good or bad, but about us and our collective history, sometimes read as facts and sometimes as myths.

This post is not about a film which I haven’t watched yet, but about the 1971 history which I am familiar with. Read more »

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Ramya Sarma

Rooted in reality

February 4, 2011
Rooted in reality

Once upon a time in India, reality came outside the box…the idiot box. Today, it is all about star value, gimmickry, cheesy plotlines and money, always money, lots of it. And it all happens right in your home, your living room, perhaps your den, your bedroom, wherever you happen to have your television set placed. Read more »

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Rumi Ahmed

Municipal polls — an analysis

February 3, 2011
Municipal polls — an analysis

The recently concluded municipal elections highlight the current trend of Bangladesh politics, and add to the debate on the possibility of fair elections under ‘partisan’ governments.

Before going into the messages the voters sent and what our democracy can learn from the process, let us give an overview of the results and other political issues relevant to this election. Read more »

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