No religion is higher than humanity

Abdul Sattar Edhi


The most remarkable man I’ve ever met. If ever a man deserved a Nobel Prize… but then he’s a bearded muslim from Pakistan, so Kissinger and Obama and Peres will be given the Nobel Prize, but Edhi will not. Neither of course did Gandhi!
Pakistan: Hope amidst the chaos
What Matters
Humanitarian to a nation

Interview: Allama Tahir Ashrafi on Blasphemy Laws

By??13 APRIL 2013?Newsline

HafizTahirAshrafi04-13
This interview was published as part of a?special report on recent attacks on Pakistan?s Christian community.?
Allama Tahir Ashrafi is chairman of the Pakistan Ulema Council and a member of the Council for Islamic Ideology. He was the first cleric to raise a voice in favour of Rimsha Masih, a minor girl with Down?s Syndrome who was falsely implicated in a blasphemy case by cleric Khalid Jadoon at the behest of the land mafia in August 2012. She was acquitted in November 2012. Continue reading “Interview: Allama Tahir Ashrafi on Blasphemy Laws”

BLACK NIGHT 1971 Bangladesh

By Monirul Alam

The black night of March 25, 1971 when the Pakistani occupation forces kicked off one of the worst genocides in history that led to a nine-month war for the independence of Bangladesh in 1971.
On this black night in the nation?s history, the Pakistani military rulers launched ?Operation Searchlight?, killing some thousand people in that night?s crackdown alone.?As part of the operation, tanks rolled out of Dhaka cantonment and a sleeping city woke up to the rattles of gunfire as the Pakistan army attacked the halls at Dhaka University, the then East Pakistan Rifles (now Border Guard Bangladesh) headquarters and Rajarbagh Police Lines, killing the several thousand unarmed Bengalis on the single night. The planned and designated centres of offensive operations under that plan were Dhaka, Khulna, Chittagong, Comilla, Jessore, Rajshahi, Rangpur, Saidpur and Sylhet? areas, where West Pakistani army units were concentrated. Continue reading “BLACK NIGHT 1971 Bangladesh”

Al Jazeera: Bangladesh protesters demand blasphemy law

Hundreds of thousands of marchers call for law that would include death penalty for bloggers who they say insult Islam.

Hundreds of thousands of people?have held?protests in Bangladesh to demand?that the government introduce an anti-blasphemy law that would include the death penalty for bloggers who insult Islam.
Protest organisers called Saturday’s rally the “long march”, with many travelling from remote villages to the capital, Dhaka’s Motijheel area that became a sea of white skull caps and robes. Continue reading “Al Jazeera: Bangladesh protesters demand blasphemy law”

Al Jazeera: Turmoil over Bangladesh tribunal

On country’s Independence Day, Al Jazeera looks at issues surrounding war crimes trials that have divided the nation. ,??and?

Bangladesh's war crimes tribunals

The Zaidi Studio

Zaidis Photographers, Masson Narsingdas Building, The Mall, Lahore in 1959
Photo by: Shahid Zaidi (Zaidis Photographers)


Dyal Singh Building, The Mall – Lahore c. 1959
The story of Zaidis Photographers starts in 1904, when two brothers, Syed Wazir Ali Zaidi and Syed Nazir Ali Zaidi, formerly students of Mayo School of Arts (now NCA) left Lahore in search of improving their photographic skills and become portrait painters and photographers. Continue reading “The Zaidi Studio”

Job Offer: British Council recruiting regional people in arts

Note from Shreela Ghosh.?Director Arts, Wider South Asia, British Council

The British Council is expanding its Arts Team across the South Asia region ? we are looking for new people in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka with arts expertise.
Partnerships are very important to the British Council (BC) so it is vital that the person has excellent communication skills and an entrepreneurial outlook.
Experience shows us that working for a large international organisation like the BC (operating in 110 countries) can be demanding for those from the South Asian creative sector as most people are likely to be working in small to medium sized companies ? I am afraid the bureaucracy is just a part of life ? so we need to recruit people with the right aptitude who can rise to the challenge even if they haven?t worked for a large organisation like ours, before.
I am attaching the Role Profile for the Head of Arts (Bangladesh) and hope that you will circulate this widely through your networks. The deadline is 7 April, so candidates will need to complete the application this week. My colleague Nahin and I will be happy to speak to anyone who wants more information about the role so please ask them to contact us.
Over the past 18 months we have created a strategy for increasing the impact of our Arts work across the region but this will only be possible with the right team in place. You are all very well connected within the creative networks in Bangladesh so I am asking you to help us identify the right person for this post.
Below you?ll find a link to our website where there?s also information about a more junior role ? yes, we need more than one person to run the arts programme as the BC?s profile continues to grow ? and people can also download the application forms by following the link.
Finally, some of you may already know of Culture 360 (based in Singapore) ? they want to do a mapping study of Bangladesh. This would be a very useful resource I think and benefit us all so if you know anyone who might be interested in doing this research please pass on the information to them.
Many thanks for your help ? Shreela
Shreela Ghosh, Director Arts, Wider South Asia, British Council, 5 Fuller Road, Dhaka 1000 mobile + 88 017300 92487

A Freedom Fighter Sings of 1971

Jabbar Bhandari was a freedom fighter. He fought with Kader (Tiger) Siddiqui in Tangail. ?He now makes a living as a Baul Singer.

 

A Freedom Fighter Sings of 1971 from Shahidul Alam on Vimeo.
He had also conducted operations in Kaderpur and Haluaghat. Now much of his time is spent around Suhrwardy Uddyan where the deed of surrender was signed in 1971. ?I found him slowly walking along the photographic exhibition on 1971 we had orgasised. He would stop and peer intently at each photograph. I asked him what he was looking at. ?I am looking at myself he said. It is me you have photographed.? ?I asked him what he thought of Bangladesh now. Whether he still dreamt of the Bangladesh he had fought for. ?He replied wistfully, ?It?s good we are free.? Then he paused and said. ?Sometimes I dream. Sometimes I don?t.?
I have never seen him since.

The anomaly of a secular Bangladesh

Sheikh Hasina should draw a veil over the nation’s blood-soaked past, moderate her quest for justice and resolve the dilemma of the Bengali and Muslim identities

By Sunanda K Datta-Ray?March 8, 2013?Business Standard.

Begum Khaleda Zia’s snub to Pranab Mukherjee sadly confirmed that Bangladeshis are still fighting yesterday’s battles. They still suffer from the dilemma Zulfikar Ali Bhutto tried to exploit by arguing mischievously during the liberation war that if “Muslim Bangla” was primarily Bengali, it should merge with West Bengal. If it was Islamic, it should remain in Pakistan. Continue reading “The anomaly of a secular Bangladesh”