A video titled ‘Language Matters’ has been making the rounds in Bangladeshi social-media circles. It explores the utility of Arabic warnings to ward off public urinators. The using of a religious misconception to prevent a social evil is clever. But what if it also reinforces and lends credence to that misconception?
Making Dhaka Livable
by Humayun Kabir for AlalODulal.org
Dhaka has been once again deemed by the Economist as the second least livable city in the world. Damascus came in last only because of the civil war that is tearing the city apart. If the civil war were to stop today, Damascus would become imminently more livable than Dhaka tomorrow. Regardless of our opinion of the Economist or its survey, I don’t think any of us would disagree that living conditions of Dhaka are horrid and are in dire need of improvement. In this article I will try to suggest a few ways to improve Dhaka’s livability. However, before doing so let me say a few words in defense of Dhaka and about the dangers of drawing up schemes for improvement. Continue reading
“’Second Home’: The Sahibs of Begam Para and the Turtles that Sell the Country”
by Faruk Wasif for Prothom Alo, translated for AlalODulal.org by Nusrat Chowdhury [please do not reproduce w/o permission]
If one asked which animal carries its own home on its back, the answers would be, 1. a turtle; 2. a Chinese farmer; and, 3. a few thousand wealthy Bangladeshis. Continue reading
Humanity, Charity, and Reality TV: a case of the Rana Plaza Collapse
by Seuty Sabur for AlalODulal.org
Nitra, Pritha, Rahnuma, Saydia, Shifa, Lima, Ayon and I spent the whole of yesterday sorting and filing 1300 photos with information of those who went missing in the Rana Plaza collapse. Continue reading
Shaking pillars causes governments to fall, not buildings
Anisul Hoque, Prothom Alo, abbreviated & translated for AlalODulal.org by Unnashic
“Pro-Hartal activists were shaking the pillars, which may be why Rana Plaza has collapsed!”, a minister said.
“Journalist brother. You are a Hindu, I am a Hindu. Please don’t do any more harm to me. You know, how Hindus have to live in this country. Rana Plaza collapsed on top of my house and office. Four of my staff and three of my house help died. After the accident, goods were looted from my house. I can’t even go into my own house.” Continue reading