The view to the tony residential neighborhood, Gulshan, photographed from the Korail slum. Photo: Mohammad Tauheed. See also Tauheed?s gallery of photos of Dhaka.You could, on first glance, see Dhaka as a fast and loose place, the kind of city that draws people in, churns them around and spits them out after a few tough years. Many in Dhaka face circumstances similar to those in other South Asian cities: poverty, limited education, exploitation. Dhaka itself sits at or near the bottom of rankings of the world?s cities ? not a happy picture. Perhaps you read about Dhaka recently because of the political unrest roiling Bangladesh now (the latest national strike was called on November 26, and the capital city often bears the brunt of any political unrest). Or perhaps it was because of the collapse of a garment factory on the outskirts of the city in April 2013, which killed more than 1,000 people, a disaster that shone light on political and civic failings in the city.
Yet that headline-driven sketch of the Bangladeshi capital is, of course, incomplete. For a more nuanced picture, you need to talk with someone like the architect, university lecturer and photographer Nurur Rahman Khan, a born and bred ?Dhakaite.? As far as he?s concerned, the city may have issues, but the title is an honor. Continue reading “Life in Dhaka, Bangladesh”