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| vo l 2 I ssu e 11 | F R I D AY, J Uly 18, 2014

How to... 2

Understand Gaza


Drive like a girl


Be your own nurse



A We ekly Productio n of


Volume 2 | Issue 11 | July 18, 2014 Editor Zafar Sobhan


Executive Editor Shahriar Karim

2 This week How to understand Israel-Palestine

Managing Editor Jahangir Hyder Features Editor Sabrina Fatma Ahmad


Assistant Magazine Editor Rumana Habib

4 Listology How to navigate our city

Weekend Tribune Team Tasnuva Amin Nova Promiti Prova Chowdhury Farhana Urmee Rifat Islam Esha Faisal Mahmud Shah Nahian Syeda Samira Sadeque Tausif Sanzum James Saville

5 Standpoint How to drive like a girl

Art Direction/Photography Syed Latif Hossain Cartoons Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy Rio Shuvo

6 Digital Bangladesh How to reclaim your life


13 Feature How to be charitable

Photo feature

How to make home sweet

15 Well-being How to avoid a midlife crisis 17 Health How to be your own nurse 20 Interview

How to be a legendary physicist

Contributors Jennifer Ashraf Kashmi Md Shakib Hossain Ruwaida Khandker Raad Rahman Dina Sobhan


Graphics Md Mahbub Alam Alamgir Hossain Tahsin Momin

16 Tough love The cheater and the puma

14 Legalese Crashed

18 Stay In ‘How to’ films

Colour Specialist Shekhar Mondal Kazi Syras Al Mahmood Production Masum Billah Advertising Shahidan Khurshed Circulation Wahid Murad

19 Go Out No fault in their stars


Website Email your letters to:

the cover This Dhakaite came prepared. He has everything he needs to navigate the twists and turns of life in this madcap city. Cover art: Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy


How to find a middle ground

How to... T

his week, we are just full of advice on Dhaka living. To get around town like a boss, memorise our “Dhaka life hacks” (pg 4). The traffic is probably “Driving (you) crazy,” especially if you’re a female behind the wheel (pg 5). If you’d rather stay in, curl up with 8 films full of sage/hilarious advice (pg 18). Or brave it and venture out (pg 19). Cuz we have “20 ways to survive living in Dhaka while loving Bangladesh” (pg 8-12). We offer more handy tips on unplugging from social media (pg

Editor’s note 6-7), giving zakat sustainably (pg 13) and surviving the madness of local hospitals (pg 17). Speaking of madness, stay up to speed with our guide to the “Bloodshed in Gaza – again” (pg 2-3). Here at home, we look for a middle ground regarding Qawmi madrasas (pg 12-13). We also meet Ali Asgar (pg 20), the legendary physicist who was an inspiration to every science student in the country. If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. - Rumana Habib

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2 News | how to understand israel-palestine

BLOODSHED IN GAZA - AGAIN Syeda Samira Sadeque and Tasnuva Amin Nova

Bullets are flying in Gaza. The world has awakened to a new sense of war, and it is protesting. As of Wednesday*, close to 200 people have died in Gaza due to air strikes from Israel. Thousands have been injured and many more have been forced to flee. On Tuesday, Israel accepted an Egyptian proposal for a truce in the conflict. However, the armed wing of the Palestinian group Hamas has rejected the ceasefire proposal, according to its official website. * All news as of Wednesday

History of migration After the holocaust that killed six million Jews, Zionists encouraged massive immigration to Israel-Palestine, at that time a British colony, where Jewish communities had an age-old connection and existed in small groups among larger communities of local people. But when the UN offered Jewish immigrants the majority of land in the UN partition plan 1947, to create Israel, the Palestinians living there rejected the plan. Several Arab states invaded the new state of Israel. Israeli forces essentially erased over 400 Palestinians villages and towns. By the end of the fighting, Israel controlled 78% of historic Palestine. Over three-quarters of a million Palestinians who had fled the fighting were now permanently barred by the Israeli government. Today, Palestinian refugees and their descendants number in the millions, most living in the Gaza strip, the West Bank and Jordan.

Israel was founded as a Jewish state, inside which Jews get special privileges, including land and housing that is denied to the Palestinians, who make up 20% of Israel’s population. Israel still holds on to land in the West Bank and Gaza that they conquered in the war in 1967, building new Jewishonly cities in the occupied territories, and supplying them with infrastructure like roads, army camps, schools and colleges. Military occupations are meant to be temporary, but after more than 40 years, this one looks permanent. To maintain the occupation, Israelis have demolished thousands of Palestinian homes and orchards. Confiscated Palestinian lands are under the control of the Jewish civilian population in Gaza. Resistance is punished by raids, assassinations, and arrests. Source: “Israel & Palestine,” an animated video

The grief in Palestine Social media Reacts

Profile pictures are being changed and protests are circulating about “banning Jewish products.” Ironically, much of this is happening on Facebook, a social media website founded and operated by a Jewish entrepreneur. Hashtags such as #GazaUnderAttack and #PrayersForGaza are trending on Twitter. Palestinian girls mourn at their home before the funeral of their uncle who died the day before in an Israeli airstrike on Monday AFP

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Protest posts

While blood is being shed

in Gaza, it can be tempting to criticise these methods of protest. How much can a hashtag do? Boycotting Starbucks or other “Jewish products” minimally affects how much money Israel has in order to carry out these attacks, and allows the aggressors to still maintain a level of impunity. However, it cannot be denied that the word has spread. Thanks to social media, more people are becoming aware of the issue at least. The mere awareness of this has the potential to go a long way, given the spirit in our recently emerged protest culture.


The BDS Movement The BDS (Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions) movement is gaining newfound popularity and momentum. The movement began in 2005 in Palestine to call on Israel to “comply with international law and Palestinian rights.” It has been in action since then and has successfully encouraged many people to

distance themselves from Israeli products. Many renowned artists and cultural figures vocally support BDS. Roger Waters, Alice Walker, Naomi Klein, John Berger, Judith Butler, Etienne Balibar, Ken Loach, Arundhati Roy, Angela Davis, and Sarah Schulman are some of the defenders of this movement.

The logic in Israel

This cartoon, released by Israel Defense Forces, justifies Israel’s attack on Gaza

In the news

There has been debate and harsh criticism of how most of the western media has been reporting the attacks by Israel. The BBC, ABC New*, CNN and Fox News (surprise!) have expressed pro-Israeli sentiments while The Guardian, Reuters, and AFP have taken an objective stance, reporting the attacks and counter-attacks, and the rising death toll in Palestine. Most astonishingly, however, a “Breaking News” bulletin on The Jerusalem Post recently reported “Neil Young concert scheduled for Thursday in Tel Aviv canceled due to Gaza rockets.” They don’t have death tolls to report on, after all.

A common ground Fueling the fire

Hate spreads hate. As a response to the Israeli attacks, hateful speeches towards Jews are spreading through social media. Many have also been expressing such sentiments towards Muslims, in solidarity with Israel. There have been Twitter hashtags and photos by many Israelis, as well as Facebook comments by Indians who seem to be jumping on the bandwagon of attacking Muslims with #IndiaWithIsrael. On Monday, the Bangladeshi government officially condemned the attacks by

Israel. On Tuesday, NDTV reported that there was an uproar in Indian Lok Sabha when the government refused to condemn Israeli attacks, despite demands by several opposition parties. Many Bangladeshis have protested locally. A human chain was formed on Tuesday, and many people have been making donations through the Palestinian embassy – something that began and materialised through Facebook. In the United States, President Barack Obama “has said Israel has the right to defend itself.”

Contrary to popular belief that all Jews support the Israeli attacks on Palestine, many Jews around the world have expressed their stance against Israel’s approach. In this photo taken in California, rabbis come to support the protest outside the Israeli Embassy

Interesting links to check out • “10 signs the IsraelPalestine conflict is becoming more violent than ever,”, July 11, 2014 http://tinyurl. com/qdzfrkj • “A short introduction about occupied Palestine” (video) ovmqfd7 • “As an ex-soldier in the Israeli Defense Forces, I’ve seen how shockingly we treat Palestinians,” The Independent (UK), July 15, 2014 ndfe3eo • “9 brands you can boycott to hold Israel accountable for its violation of international law,” Mic, February 19, 2014 http:// • “Why I’m on the brink of burning my Israeli passport,” The Huffington Post, July 11, 2014 http:// • “Stephen Hawking’s boycott hits Israel where it hurts: Science,” The Guardian, May 13, 2013 • “I traveled to PalestineIsrael and discovered there is no ‘Palestinian-Israeli Conflict,’” The Huffington Post, April 12, 2014 http://

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4 listology | How to navigate our city first three rows of most buses are reserved for women. There is a constant risk of being pick-pocketed. Always remain on your guard. During rickshaw rides, tell the pullers to cycle at a moderate pace, and make sure you hold onto the hood to avoid being thrown off. During car rides, there is always a chance of a hand popping in through the window and snatching away your valuables. Keep the windows closed. Also, keep track of gas consumption, as you don't want to be cheated by your driver.

Haggle your way out

Syed Latif Hossain

Dhaka lifehacks

In her shopaholic book series, Sophie Kinselle writes: “When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it's not, and I need to do it again.” New Market, Chandni Chawk, and Gausia and Doja markets are a shopper's paradise. You can get everything from trendy clothes, books, household items, to accessories. You name it, it's there. The “but” here is that you absolutely must know how to bargain, or else the shopkeepers will take you to the cleaners. Take heed of the words of wisdom from avid Dhaka College shopper, Anita Amreen: “Never show a seller how desperately you want to purchase their goods. Study the seller’s body language. Their body language is the key indicator of

whether or not their price is flexible.” “The magic trick of a pro haggler is walking away empty handed. After a constant bout of haggling, when your seller seems to have reached the very last price he is ready to offer – walk away. Name your price and strut away with confidence. If he wants to strike a deal, he’ll call you back. If not, you can always forget about your ego and head back to get your treasured item.”

Cut the red tape

Robert A Heinlein once said: “Government! Three-fourths parasitic and one-fourth stupid fumbling.” We don't know about parasitic, but fumbling is exactly what Bangladeshi public officials enjoy doing. Prepare yourself for the worst when filling official forms. The authorities will probably find something missing from your documents and send you away frustrated. Arguing with them is not a good idea. There are times in Dhaka when you must be aggressive like a lion, and times when you must become like an obedient rabbit – this is the latter. If you have personal contacts, use them. It can save you a lot of headaches. An even faster solution is bakshish – but that's wrong of course, and we could never advocate that.


Whether you are new to the city or have lived here since birth, these are the problems you need to overcome

Tausif Sanzum Bangali Standard Time

“Time is the longest distance between two places,” Tennessee Williams once said, and this distance seems never-ending in Bangladesh. The road jams are often cited by locals as the biggest evil affecting quality of life here. One thing you need to keep in mind if you want to reach your destination in good time is that you must start way ahead of schedule. It's better to arrive early for an important meeting than to risk arriving late. Although if you make an appointment to see a doctor at 4pm, there is a high likelihood you will only be able to enter his chambers after 5pm. How can you deal with this? There is no easy solution to jams. Over time you develop a sense of when traffic will be at its peak, and how jams multiply during rain or on Thursdays. You come to figure out the rules of the road – how the traffic works in areas with schools,

and how the roads suddenly turn into a mosaic of unruly cars at 7am. As far as appointments are concerned, simply make sure that you do not have more than one of them in any particular hour of any day.

Road mantras

“I probably did too much thinking in India. I blame it on the roads, for they were superb.” I'm pretty sure the roads Robert Edison Fulton Jr spoke of in One Man Caravan were from some other world. Bangladesh, once a part of India, now harbors roads that have become synonymous with death, jams and honking vehicles moving in every direction. “Agility, alertness and assertiveness” should be the mantra for your survival. If you have to travel in a bus and you are a woman, cover yourself if you want to avoid those staring eyes, and remember that the seats in the Syed Zakir Hossain

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How to drive like a girl | Standpoint

Driving me crazy “ I

’m rushing to an exam. It’s summer. I jostle my way through a crowd smelling of burnt fuel and sweat. In an hour or so, I am sitting in my car, trying to reverse park, as a crowd of men gather around me, each with his own commentary. “Maiya chalaitase (A girl is driving)!” some exclaim. Others took it upon themselves to direct me. I sat inside, panicking and a bit bitter, in a sea of instructions to “Go left!”, “Steer to the right” and “Back! Back!” from the strangers who had queued up to watch me drive. Unfortunately or fortunately, I failed my driving practical test later that day. And it wasn’t because I did not know how to drive or reverse park. It was because of the hype – both negative and positive – that was created around the concept of “a girl driving.” Since then, I’ve obtained a driving license. I’ve driven to and from work and I managed it all without cheering, curious men giving me directions. So I guess I could say I’ve survived. Dhaka is a growing city. There are other developments apart from the food carts and coffee shops popping up everywhere. We do also have some social developments. Although it’s not seen often, women do drive these days, even

(gasp) without the L-for-learner tag on their car or a driver/instructor sitting in the back directing them. However, this is a reality that we tend to over-hype which in turn discourages it from being normalised. While some people get overexcited about it, some others simply look down on it. Too often I’ve heard a (male) driver comment on the slow car ahead saying: “I’m sure the driver’s a woman.” Not only is this discouraging for other women drivers like me, the stereotype is also not true. There are plenty of male drivers who are slow, who drive according to the law, and are even a little scared to be driving in Dhaka traffic. We need to get out of the concept that all women are slow drivers and all men are fast drivers. There are no women-slow and men-fast distinctions. There is only slow driving and there is fast driving, and men and women are equally capable of doing either. Women being subject to a lot of stigma with their driving here has been pointed out by BRAC as well. The NGO recently began its driving programme for women, training women as chauffeurs to tackle the busy and often beastly Dhaka roads. However, despite the innovative

for female drivers, prejudice, discrimination and abuse are as likely to await them as potholes, traffic jams and exhaust fumes

way BRAC has chosen to empower women, the challenges beyond the gates of the driving school still remain. “For female drivers, prejudice, discrimination and abuse are as likely to await them as potholes, traffic jams and exhaust fumes,” reads one of the BRAC reports. There is also tough competition for women drivers out there. Many women remain unemployed in this sector, possibly for the abovementioned reasons. Of the 60 women BRAC trained in 2013 as chauffeurs, only 16 initially found jobs. Aklima Khatun, who was recently interviewed for a Weekend Tribune article “Standing Tall,” found employment with a fellow working woman who wants to help

women like Aklima become selfreliant. But this is not enough. We need more people to accept that our women are able to do what our men can do. We need to, through our daily interactions and conversations, encourage women drivers as much as we encourage stay-at-home dads. Change begins at home – or in this case, in the car. So think before commenting on a woman driving. It’s a good change, and one much needed in Dhaka. I ask you to applaud it, instead of panicking them into taking a wrong turn. Encourage it, instead of stigmatising women into being permanently stuck in the back seat.


Syeda Samira Sadeque

The trials of a female driver in Dhaka


We need to encourage women drivers as much as stay-at-home dads


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6 Digital Bangladesh | How to reclaim your life

The Matrix has you

Is social media taking over your world? Here’s what you need to know about how to unplug from the dangerous network Shah Nahian


o you still remember why you joined Facebook? Initially, social media offered its users an opportunity to reconnect and keep in touch with old friends and relatives abroad, as well as meeting like-minded people. Social media – like most media – is habit forming. It is very easy to get into a daily routine when it comes to watching shows on television, listening to a good radio station, or reading books, magazines, newspapers or blogs. The same rule applies when it comes to leading a virtual life. Despite the fact that Instagram never earned any revenue, the social media giant Facebook still purchased it for $1bn. The Guardian Liberty Voice speculated that Facebook purchased Instagram for its addicted user base to feed into its already hugely habit-forming social media empire. If you happen to be one of the people who start their morning with their social media fix, log in several times a day to scroll their newsfeeds, and cannot fall asleep without one last perusal – well, you know you’re addicted. But you’re not alone. Fast Company reported that social

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networking and spending time on social media is the number one activity on the web – more popular even than watching porn. Just like any other addiction though, there is always a price to pay.

Awkward penguin

Huffington Post published an article last month discussing how our tethers to technology are making us socially awkward and sometimes even creepy. In it, Justine Harman, Features Editor of, said: “I think it’s the death of an actual civilised conversation. I think it’s skipping a lot of steps. You don’t know people the way you would if you actually spent time with them. It feels inherently wrong to make those leaps.” It also quoted Tara KennedyKline, author of the book “Stop Raising Einstein,” who approached the issue by analysing the youngest generation. She stated: “I think there’s a lot of things we don’t understand about how to have conversations any more. I think our kids are kind of getting addicted to it. Our kids don’t know how to have conversations … There are simple social skills that we are

completely losing because we only do anything online.”

Alone in a virtual crowd

Passively scrolling through your newsfeed can cause loneliness and depression, according to numerous studies. Furthermore, social networking goes hand in hand with narcissism, a sense of negativity which leads to resentment and envy. This is an issue I wrote about in a previous Weekend Tribune article titled “Facebook: The anti-social network?”

Gateway addiction

CASA Columbia, a science-based addiction research organisation, stated in a survey: “Seventy percent of kids aged 12-17 who spend time on a social media site on a daily basis ... are five times likelier to use tobacco, three times likelier to use alcohol, and twice as likely to use marijuana.”

Big Brother is always watching

Privacy is precious. It takes exactly one stalker to remind you how precious it can be. Recently, Facebook removed the option to keep your name hidden when people search you. It also

forced cumbersome processes for controlling privacy settings on an item-by-item basis. Today, the only way to make sure certain people can’t access your profile is to block them, or alter your name so it doesn’t appear when people search your real name. To make matters even creepier, Facebook has been keeping track of your unspoken words. Last year, the social networking site released a study that revealed they were undertaking a new type of data collection in which they were tracking when people typed content out and then removed it without publishing.

A family affair

Facebook didn’t just get you and your friends hooked. That list of addicts includes your parents, distant relatives and maybe even your grandparents. Posting something silly as a joke or getting “fraped” – where someone posts messages from your user account without your consent – might not seem to be that big of a deal initially. But not everyone in your friend list has similar views. You’d be surprised what kind of trouble it might get you into.

How to reclaim your life | Digital Bangladesh


Social media on the go

The middle way The healthy thing to do is to use social media at moderate levels. There is always a fine balance to everything, and that balance is the key. Real life is not something that should take place in the background. Online is no substitute for offline. Life has to have more meaning than posting pictures of partying, what you had for lunch and pretty selfies. An article on Huffington Post reads: “Our desire to disclose personal information about ourselves to others is ingrained in the human condition – it’s not just a product of social media. It’s so ingrained, in fact, that people would actually forgo money to talk about themselves, instead of discussing other people or answering fact questions.” Dr Adi Jaffe, who holds a PhD in psychology and serves as the director of research, education, and innovation at Alternatives (an addiction treatment programme), commented on the downside to this phenomenon: “The immediacy and reward associated with social media (especially through mobile avenues) can be thought of as a ‘quick hit’ and would be expected to result in a minority of users experiencing ‘addiction-like’ symptoms,” he says. Rameet Chawla, a programmer and not-so-avid social media user, stated in the same article: “Getting just one hit elicits truly peculiar responses … I’ve encountered many young children, as well as teenagers and adults, who have become obsessed with social media, using it as a tool to guide their self-esteem and self-worth.” In my personal experience,

the less I logged on to a social networking site to interact with friends, the more I developed a need to go meet them in person. I was grateful to realise this, rather than regret later that my life had passed me by while I was staring at a meaningless screen. Of all the people on your social media friends list, you only end up caring for a handful of people. In the age of smartphones, you can make free calls to anywhere around the world. Social media is no longer required to stay in touch with those old friends and relatives living abroad. The same applies for sharing photos, videos, and texts – with the added advantage of not putting it on display for random strangers to see. The reason why we signed up for social networking has reached the end of its life. Redirect your focus to keep you busy with other things. Picking out an interesting hobby such as learning to play an instrument, painting, sketching – pretty much anything – can take up the time one might have spent locked into virtual reality. You won’t even need a teacher to learn. All you need is a search engine. The internet is not all bad – it is also an infinite library of information. Weaning yourself may be hard initially. You might face withdrawals toning down habits that have been developed over years. However, once you discover how rewarding acquiring new skills, meeting your friends and family in person, or at least hearing the sounds of their voices can be, you will no longer want to spend hours upon hours looking for your hit.


Ovick Alam and Syed Shadab Mahbub, WebAble Digital WebAble

Since WebAble deals extensively with interpreting data all over the internet, we managed to gather certain insights into the usage of Facebook with respect to the devices and mobiles being used to access the social networking site. As of April 2014, the BTRC reported 115.7 million mobile phone users in Bangladesh. Bangladesh has the 10th highest number of mobile phones in any country. The top section of the first infographic shows that desktop usage is on the decline, with only 13% of Bangladeshis accessing Facebook solely through desktops. The bottom section shows that just 21% of the total time spent by Bangladeshis on Facebook is from behind a desktop, while 32% of Facebook activity occurs on feature phones (ie cheaper non-smartphones that use WAP to

connect to the internet), and 33% accounts for smartphone use. This second infographic shows an astounding 6.4 million Facebook users in Bangladesh access the website on mobile devices. This is 76.2% of the total number of Facebook users in the country. Furthermore, we can also determine that 89% of these mobile users are running the Android operating system on their smartphones. All of this information tells us that people are on the move in Bangladesh. They are connecting, interacting and networking on the go. The next time you get on the bus, or are sitting in the back of a CNG stuck in traffic, look over and you will see people fidgeting with their phones – evidence of how connecting online with mobile devices has become a part of our everyday lives.

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8 Photo story | How to make home sweet

20 ways to survive living in Dhaka while loving Bangladesh

Raad Rahman


here is a magical warmth that flows through the undercurrents of Dhaka’s immediate chaos – the grime, dust, and dirt everywhere. Despite the misogynistic borderlineharassing tendencies of the roadside Romeos, there are several ways to make the most of Bangladesh, and Dhaka in particular. When I returned o Bangladesh after a 16 year self-imposed hiatus, I realised

All dressed up for Pahela Baishakh in Ramna Park

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that in order to fully enjoy the country, I needed to re-programme my expectations from it. 1. Make friends at social gatherings. You won’t regret it, because friendly and kind people are all around you, and they are incredibly welcoming. 2. Go out and celebrate local festivals. With Eid around the

corner, get some henna on your hands. Make the most of the various colourful celebrations pertaining to the religions and politics of Bangladesh, and see how they work harmoniously: Durga Puja, Buddha Purnima, and the National Mother Language Day on February 21, Bangla New Year on April 14, and Bangladeshi Independence Day on March 26 in and around Ramna Park. So dress

Syed Latif Hossain

9 in a lungi or a sari, or with bindis on your forehead and glass bangles to clink. Eat some hilsa or visit any temple that fits the occasion. 3. Try all the different modes of transportation. Look, we know Dhaka’s not for the faint-hearted, even if you’ve never been outside a car. But how many people abroad can say they rode an auto-rickshaw, a rickshaw, a cycle cart, a cow cart, or any other such mesmerising modes of transportation? Learn how to live life on the edge. 4. Pay homage to the food options. These days, Dhaka is full of choices. For the sake of brevity, I say your first stop should be Banani Rd 11, which is fast becoming one of the city’s largest hubs for restaurants, cheap eats, and gelato heavens. Whether it is burgers, kimchi, pad thai or pasta, chances are, Rd 11’s got it. And coffee lovers, go to North End Coffee Roasters or George’s Café. 5. Go shopping. Saris or western outfits or household items or art – Dhaka’s got it all. If you’re smart, you’ll zip right past all the faux-designer stores in the Gulshan and Banani areas and head on south to New Market, the DC Market (in front of Dhaka College), or Bongobazar in old Dhaka. It’s mostly garments rejects here, but I’ve found MNG, Dorothy Perkins, and even brands housed by Anthropologie, at bargain prices with perhaps the tiniest of defects. You can practice your bargaining skills (see pg 4 for tips).

Through the rear window of the ubiquitious CNG auto-rickshaw

6. Take a break at recreational clubs. Get away from the crowds in a club. Whether for partying, for relaxation and yoga, or golfing and swimming and squash, the clubs in Dhaka have the amenities of worldclass establishments. 7. If you’re a woman, take a spa day off. If you’re a man, do your metrosexual self a favor, and take a spa day off. Your muscles are

Cilantro Cafe is a hip spot in Dhanmondi, popular among the youth

Syed Latif Hossain

probably sore from all the jitters you feel on all the bumpy potholes that are the vast majority excuse for Dhaka’s streets. Take control, and treat your body to some lovin’. 8. Try out one of the roadside tea stalls. That steaming cup of cha from the dubious looking mug? It actually tastes brilliant. With just the right hint of condensed milk, it will hit the spot.

Syed Latif Hossain

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10 Photo story | How to make home sweet 9. Walk around the city parks. Ramna Park, a personal favourite, was bequeathed to the city by the old nawabs during the reign of the Mughals in the early 17th century. The colourful, and often notorious history of the park, which has been rumored to be the home of prostitutes, drug dealers, and thieves, has seen an important transformation in recent times. Today, the 68.5 acres of parkland and lake boast a variety of fantastic flora and fauna, including the seasonal purple jacaranda, red hibiscus, and yellow labarnum in early spring.

A traditional ‘putulnach’ puppet show at Shilpakala Academy

Syed Latif Hossain

10. Exploring Dhaka University campus. Curzon Hall is flanked by the most incredible array of intersecting paths, and crisscrossed with some fantastically old banyan and palm trees. Once you’re done with the hall, make sure to head over for a feast to your senses, by catching up with what the art students in the country are up to at Charukala, which houses a permanent museum and is right off Shahbagh Mor. 11. Walk around Hatirjheel or other city lakes. The series of bridges in Hatirjheel are pretty cool at night, and create a fantastic break to the urban planner’s nightmare

Curzon Hall, the legendary academic hall for the faculty of science, Dhaka University

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Syed Latif Hossain

11 otherwise known as Dhaka, and either living near or frequenting a body of water is actually good for your health according to the experts. Gulshan, Baridhara, Banani and Dhanmondi Lakes are also popular destinations, with their landscaped walkways. 12. Engage with the fantastic theater and music scene. As a start, subscribe to the events at Shilpakala Academy near the old Sheraton Hotel. Bengal has long been the subcontinental hub for fantastic theater, and Bangladesh in particular has produced an array of outstanding theater personalities and laureates, including Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam. Additionally, singers like Anusheh Anadil are doing some truly fantastic things to revive the tradition of Baul music. 13. Immerse yourself in foreign cultural institutes. There are many events at the well-established foreign culture-promoting institutes. Perhaps you can even pick up a new language. If you need to absorb multicultural influences in the literary and cultural scene, look into places such as the GoetheInstitut, Alliance Française, the EMK Center, and the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre.

14. Visit some fancy hotels. I’d never been much of a hotel groupie until I came back here, but the city’s hotels do have some fantastic parties, concerts, and food. If you enjoy pretty architecture and serenity, try out Ruposhi Bangla in Shahbag, or the Pan Pacific Sonargaon at Panthapath. If you’re into concrete jungle madness, and don’t mind being served wine in a plastic cup with garish blue and green lighting as background, the Westin in Gulshan is not a bad choice. 15. Be practical about your safety. Make sure you have a ride if you’re going anywhere after dark, and try to travel in groups. Do tone down on showing too much skin unless you don’t mind getting stared at. Otherwise, rock on. We all need to work to change the conservative culture that is fast becoming pervasive, so every single bit of rebellion that pushes this city into 21st century egalitarian rhetoric is truly appreciated by us more liberal locals. 16. Buy an e-reader. Even if you like the fresh scent of paper enough that it makes you giddily guilty to contemplate switching over to the boring alternative of holding more plastic than your smartphone, imagine the ultimate nightmare: life once you’ve run out of decent

Rooplal House in the Farashganj area in old Dhaka

books in Dhaka’s scanty bookstores. 17. Eat with the changing seasons. Enjoy the large variety of seasonal local fruits and vegetables. Mango and guava season can start as early as April and run well into August, with a three week sprinkling of lychees in June. December and January are tomato and spinach season, as well as sweetpeas and runner beans. Stay as close to local as possible. 18. Explore old Dhaka. Whether it’s the Star Mosque, or some roadside snacks in the winding alleys near Agamasi Lane, you will appreciate the narrow streets, sugary jalebis and mouthwatering halim in the more authentic parts of the city,

Looking up at Lakeshore Hotel in Gulshan

Raad Rahman

A secluded beach in Cox’s Bazar

Syed Zakir Hossain

as well as the rustic outlets of creativity that is in the pottery and architecture of old Dhaka. Ahsan Manzil is also a must, if you’re stumped for ideas of what to do while you’re meandering about aimlessly in old Dhaka. 19. Attend the fantastic art exhibitions. The art scene in Bangladesh is booming at the moment. A good starting point is the Bengal Art Lounge in Gulshan or Dhanmondi. 20. Travel the country. Sometimes, the best part of living in a chaotic city is leaving it. Chittagong, Sylhet, Cox’s Bazar, the Sunderbans and the hill tracts offer great scenic alternatives to life in Dhaka.


Syed Latif Hossain

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12 education | How to find a middle ground with madrasas


Beyond the political divide that separates the secular from the religious, there is a much bigger issue concerning the Qawmi madrasa students of our society Syeda Samira Sadeque difference in their education system.

Specialised ed


Photos: Md Shakib Hossain/CK Photography

stood amid 60 rambunctious children at the Boro Katara madrasa. Located deep inside Chawk Bazar, this school hosts around 750 students for whom it provides room, board and education. This Qawmi madrasa is 400 years old, and has a reputation for creating leaders in the Islamic world. But these leaders are never heard of in our mainstream society. Too often, madrasa students are stigmatised as “others,” feared to be terrorists and stereotyped as uneducated. “We complete extracurricular work such as Islamic literature, handwriting, and training to teach younger kids,” a group of boys tell me as we sit down in their study room, ripe with the scent of wood

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and attar. The boys have just completed their “kitab bibhag,” or secondary school (which covers everything from post-primary to Masters degree equivalents) and are currently doing extracurricular work during their annual break. As I take a walk around the dormitory rooms, I notice the tiny, square rooms that host far more than their capacity. It is in the same room that they sleep, study, eat and laugh. But the students also share a spirit of positivity that is contagious, with which they discuss politics and corruption, joking about life’s challenges. They chat, talk and argue – with logic – just like you and me. But this identity has been denied to them merely because of a

Children at Qawmi madrasas such as this one begin with primary schooling where they learn basic Arabic, English and Bangla. Then they move to “Hefz” to memorise the Quran. Normally this takes about three years. Although some systems in the country allow other subjects to be taught during Hefz education, this madrasa discourages it. “The aim for our general curriculum is to cover English, Bangla, and mathematics,” says Maulana Saiful Islam, principal at the madrasa's school. “Much like the mainstream schooling system teaches English in line with its aims, we teach Arabic in line with our aim of teaching the Quran.” However, their degree – although obtained through tremendous hard work, and covering Islamic literature, law, and plenty of other subjects – is not recognised by the government. This drastically reduces the ability of these students to find a job in the mainstream job market after their graduation. “The government and the Qawmi madrasa system are having difficulty finding a middle ground,” says Saiful Haque, founder and president of MOVE, an organisation working to de-radicalise and destigmatise madrasa students by teaching them about legal, social and cultural issues outside the boundaries of the madrasa. “The government recognises it but wants to have a say in its curriculum. But the Qawmi madrasa teachers want their system to remain free from any outside influence or the incorporation of another curriculum. They are open to having subjects such as science in their syllabus, but they would still want to maintain the core syllabus.”

Degrees of separation

“Many of us get separate academic degrees on the side, and this has helped to refute the notion that madrasa students are not educated,” says Ali, one of the

students who has a job and is also studying political science at the University of Dhaka. Ali studied in the Qawmi madrasa system all his life, but sat the board exams at a government school in order to obtain a degree that is recognised. “We are all Muslims, and our Islamic responsibilities include spreading the message about what we learn. For this, I knew I'd need validity in the outside world, and I could obtain it only by sitting for a government-recognised exam.” Maulana Saiful says the late Hujur Maulana Mufti Aminur called for recognition of their degree in Arabic, given that mainstream universities give degrees in languages including Arabic. But this has not happened. “I pursued general education because no matter how much we study the Islamic curriculum, we need a certificate to get around in the world. A certificate, or degree, which would not be recognised by the government when given by a Qawmi madrasa, gives us validity when we want to share our knowledge or explore,” says Ali. “There are experts in every field, and our aim is to create experts in our own field,” says Maulana Sakhwat Hussein, principal of the madrasa.

Today's scholar is tomorrow's 'farmer'

Most shocking, however, was the revelation that these students, who are memorising the Quran while undergoing a completely different education on the side, are often labelled as “farmers” – shorthand for illiterate, which is itself problematic – on their voter identity cards. These are not students who are illiterate – they are just literate in a separate language and/or medium. While this may create a certain barrier, that barrier can be overcome in the same way the barrier between Bangla and English medium school students is overcome. Maulana Ansar-ul-Haq Imran, a teacher at the madrasa who

How to be charitable | feature


Zakat: Give sustainably Faisal Mahmud


hroughout the history of Islam, Muslims have always given zakat. When done in the right way, it can be an effective way of alleviating poverty – and Bangladesh has about six million extremely poor families who need this help. While other development programmes in this country, such as microfinance initiatives, have increasingly focused on trying to generate economic activity, the same cannot be said for zakat. Despite research that shows zakat funds are most effective when distributed to the needy in the form of business capital, this is rarely how they are delivered in Bangladesh. For the most part, people in this country continue to give zakat in the traditional way: A single donation of goods or money. While Bangladeshis give zakat generously to their poorer relatives and neighbours, this often fails to bring any sustainable change to the recipients’ lives. According to Islamic belief, all zakat is charity, but not all charity is zakat. Muslims are required to donate 2.5% of their wealth to the poor. Otherwise one’s wealth will be considered haram (unpure). also obtained a separate staterecognised degree, says this ignorance of the Qawmi madrasa degree, which causes students to have their profession listed as “farmers” on their voter ID card, also affects the government. He says: “If the government acknowledged their degree, the number of our educated individuals would increase drastically, and we would have a higher literacy rate.” “They are excellent learners,” Saiful Haque said in a separate interview. “We’re talking about students who memorise the Quran – their learning and application capabilities are excellent,” he says, adding that civil society should engage with madrasa students at a local level.

IT factor

The students have expressed interest in a wider education about global issues related to Islam's place in the world. Not all madrasas can afford these facilities, so Saiful plans on establishing these through MOVE.

Giving zakat makes one’s wealth halal (purified).

Zakat around the world

Many other Muslim countries have adopted a zakat system that involves some longer-term development goals, enabling the poor to get a source of regular income in addition to any immediately disbursed funds. For example, the central zakat council of Pakistan insists that while 45% of zakat funds should be given to poor families as monthly allowances, another 45% must be made available for rehabilitation grants. In Sudan, while 65% of the zakat funds are distributed as direct payments to the poor, 35% is allocated for the poor to purchase means of production. Similar practices have been adopted by Zakat House in Kuwait and Nasir Bank in Egypt.

Dhaka’s Centre for Zakat Management

By contrast the zakat system is this country is quite basic, with a near-total lack of institutional involvement in the process. However, there are some organisations that try to “We'd like to have a resource centre for madrasa students who have expressed interest in learning about the world and information technology (IT),” he said. “This could bring a huge change,” Saiful believes. “And it would be better to have a positive change that would be sustainable, instead of imposing something unusual or alien on them.” But not everyone shares this interest in IT. “When we ask for recognition, we are asked if we are skilled in fields such as IT. But we only want recognition and a chance. Why are we denied that? Not all of the 160 million people of our country are trained in IT,” says Maulana Ansar-ul-Haq. Maulana Saiful and Sakhwat say: “The difference from the mainstream curriculum is in our purpose. The general curriculum’s purpose is job-driven, but ours is spiritual growth and social work.”

Need for integration

A recent study by the Bangladesh Enterprise Institute refers to statistics showing that madrasas are

regulate zakat distribution, such as the Dhaka-based Centre for Zakat Management (CZM). What marks this organisation out is their holistic approach. In 2005, they launched the IDEAL Village project. The underlying concept for this project was to use zakat to completely change the lives of 150 households in all aspects from education to economic status, so that they could escape the vicious cycle of poverty. It was heralded as a startling success. Dr Mohammad Ayub Miah, the CEO, says around US$3bn can be mobilised through zakat – enough to make a significant dent in povertylevels. In fact, Miah believes

not breeding grounds for terrorists – contrary to popular belief. The study “Modernisation Of Madrasa Education In Bangladesh: A Strategy Paper,” however shows how there are misunderstandings about Qawmi madrasa students. The very lack of interaction between Qawmi madrasa students and mainstream students perpetuate these sentiments and misunderstandings, and a first step would be to integrate these two.

that if zakat funds were properly mobilised, they could replace foreign aid. Miah says he is working hard to make people see the amazing potential of zakat. “CZM is taking many initiatives like organising zakat fairs and various seminars to make people aware of its significance.” He notes that in many Muslim countries zakat payers get tax breaks, and he believes Bangladesh should follow suit. “Zakat givers must get tax exemptions. The country’s Islamic banks pay a large sum of zakat money each year, but they do not get any tax privileges on the spending despite repeated requests to policymakers.”


In order to do so, there needs to be a middle ground where the government and the Qawmi madrasas meet. Qawmi madrasa teachers fear that if they are handed over to government control, individuals who are not familiar with the madrasa system may be assigned to deal with them. And it is this fear the government needs to address in order for the conversation to move forward.


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14 Legalese | Jennifer Ashraf Kashmi



My friend killed her boyfriend in a car accident few weeks ago. She was in the driving seat and her boyfriends was in the passenger’s seat. She was driving very fast and lost control of the car and crashed

Dear Reader, This is a sticky situation indeed for your friend and it is admirable that you are seeking legal advice on her behalf and trying to help her. However, I’m unable to provide you with a comprehensive guidance as there are simply too many gaps in the story and far too much information missing. Did your friend have a valid driving license? Has it already been established that the accident was solely or majorly owing to the fault of your friend? You mentioned that the boyfriend’s parents “have filed a case with the police accusing (your) friend of murder.” In this instance, I would normally need a copy of the FIR (First Investigation Report) prior to giving any advice at all. However, since that appears to be missing, I will attempt to provide you with some guidance – but since the advice is primarily based on assumptions, please note that it is subject to change depending on the details of the FIR. First of all, she has been charged under the wrong section of the Penal Code, S302, which deals with murder. This is a non-bailable offence and applicable only for murder with intention to kill or cause GBH (grievous bodily harm). This is a good ground for granting bail and could be used as a defence during the charge hearing. She should have been charged under S304B of the Penal Code, which is a bailable offence, and states that: “Whoever causes the death of any person by rash or negligent driving of any vehicle or riding on any public way not amounting to culpable homicide shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with a fine, or with both.” It is mentioned, under S304B, that there is no criminality attached to this section but is made punishable by reason of death having resulted.

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into a wall. The aftermath of the impact killed, her boyfriend. His parents have denied knowing my friend and they have filed a case with the police accusing my friend of murder. What legal steps can save my friend and her family from the accident? Please also note that the Transport Association leaders have demanded that no case be filed against drivers under Section 302 of the Penal Code. According to Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, who is also the president of the Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation, cases for killing in road accidents should be filed under 304. The section deals with “culpable homicide not amounting to murder.” One found guilty under this section may have to serve a life term as the highest punishment. Possible legal defences for your friend are as follows: If she is not already in police custody then we could apply for anticipatory bail under 498 of the CRPC. If she is in custody or in jail then we could apply for bail under the same section. And if a charge sheet has been produced then we could defend her. In a nutshell, the overall defence of the defendant depends on the charge sheet provided by the investigating officer (IO). Our main defence in court would be to portray the case as a fatal accident, in which the defendant could have been killed as well. Hence she had no intention to kill or cause GBH to her co-passenger. Some penalty against her could be inevitable if the prosecution can prove that she had been driving recklessly and dangerously. Three questions arise in this context which need to be answered before the court: 1. Can culpable homicide (S299) be committed by negligent driving (S304B)? 2. What element is required for there to be culpable homicide in this context? 3. What punishment is available if death caused by negligent driving indeed amounts to culpable homicide? I hope things work out for your friend and let this serve as a lesson for all of us – next time, drive safely. The loss of life resulting from negligent and dangerous driving is simply not worth it.


Got a problem? Write to Jennifer at weekend@

Cartoon: Rio Shuvo/Dhaka Tribune

Jennifer Ashraf Kashmi is a barrister and solicitor of England and Wales. She is currently Senior Partner at Legacy Legal Corporate.

How to avoid a midlife crisis | Well-being


Resistance is fruitful The secret to aging with dignity is making hard choices early on and reaping the rewards later William Westgate


midlife crisis can mean many things to many people. The term itself was first coined by a Canadian psychoanalyst named Elliott Jaques in the 1960s, referring to “a period in life where adults come to realize their own mortality and how little time is left in their life.” For some, a midlife crisis is simply the desire to go buy that flashy red sports car they could never afford in their youth. For others however it is a far more serious sense of regret or even depression that is hard to manage or recover from. The famous author Robert Lewis Stevenson said: “Sooner or later everyone sits down to a banquet of consequences.” In short, a midlife crisis could be described as just that: The consequences an adult is faced with as a result of the behaviours of youth.

Wait for your marshmallows

Some readers may be familiar with a famous psychological experiment conducted years ago at Stanford University. The “marshmallow test” was designed to gauge a person’s natural ability to undertake difficult tasks now in exchange for benefits later in life. This concept is known as “deferred gratification.” In the experiment, university psychologists randomly selected dozens of young children, sat them at a table in an empty room and put a tasty marshmallow on a plate in front of them. The children were told that if they could resist eating the treat for five minutes, they would be rewarded with two treats. The psychologists then exited the room, leaving the young child staring at the treat. Some children found resisting the temptation – in exchange for two later – relatively easy. Others however found it very difficult. Indeed many consumed the sweet almost immediately after the psychologists left the room. (To watch the experiment on YouTube, type in “marshmallow test.”)

Photo: Bigstock

The test is particularly fascinating given the results of the follow-up studies. Subsequent analysis of the children found that those who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by exam scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI) and other key life indicators. Can you see where this is leading?

Form healthy habits from youth

In order to avoid a midlife crisis, you need to be able to undertake difficult challenges early in life. Yes, challenges such as hard work, revision, charity, thrift, maintaining a healthy diet and exercise and establishing and maintaining solid relationships in one’s youth can be hard to do, but the later rewards are significant. The ability to make short term sacrifices leads to the long term benefits such as emotional contentment, physical health, and financial security later in life. For some people this is obvious. For others though the correlation is hard, if not impossible, to grasp. Yes, we all want to spend our money as soon as we get it instead of saving it. We all want to just lie in bed or play computer games, watch television or spend hours on social networking sites instead of getting up and working hard. We all want to eat chocolate cake instead of going to the gym. But to “defer gratification” – putting off the enjoyment for later and undertaking the hard work and discipline now – leads to enormous rewards later. This is certainly what the Stanford University test famously revealed. For most young people, the prospect of being old seems unimaginably far away. A 19-year-old finds it hard to imagine being 25, let alone 65. It takes a certain type of intelligence to recognise that you will indeed reach that age

one day, and that the things one hopes to have in later life (good health, strong relationships, a meaningful career, financial assets, etc) are amassed over many years. Such outcomes are the result of a process, not an event.

Grant your own wishes

Here’s something a young person can do now to help avoid a midlife crisis later in life. Imagine yourself at 50 years old. Your life is a mess: you have had a string of broken relationships, you are up to your eyeballs in debt with a deadend job, your health is poor and your home is some small grubby apartment for which you struggle to pay rent. Suddenly a fairy godmother comes to you and grants you one wish. You can go back to your youth in 2014 and start all over again. This is the opportunity to do everything right. You really will study hard

for school and get into that university, you will maintain your health and fitness, work hard and save your money prudently, and love and respect all the people who mean a lot to you now. You will not make all the mistakes you made the first time round. This time you will defer gratification in order to secure the benefits later in life – and avoid that punishing midlife crisis. Pretend that just happened to you. Poof! You are young again. You have been granted a second chance to avoid all the mistakes you made. This time, you will make the sacrifices now to ensure that you avoid a midlife crisis later.


William Westgate is the principal of Regent College in Gulshan

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The cheater and the puma Q A

I’ve been having an affair with my neighbour for a while now. He lives across the street from me and we both work at the same office.

Well, there are a couple of factors to consider in this sticky pickle of a situation. Firstly, do you love the man? Or, at the very least, do you like him enough to break up your home and family? It’s one thing to have an affair and entirely another to make a lover your husband. Ease and practicality do not a make marriage, and when you

Everything with this man seems easy and practical, and I would like to start a proper relationship with him. However, we are both married. His wife lives in Japan and my husband travels to different countries on business trips almost

every month. I am growing tired of all the lies and cheating.

take away the thrill of sneaking around and lying, you’re pretty much left with what you’ve already got now: a boring marriage. Why should he be expected to change things because you’ve suddenly grown a conscience and want to come clean? As you’ve already stated, the relationship is convenient … NOW. His wife is happily ensconced in Japan, allowing him to imbibe the milk freely. Divorces are

messy and painful, and maybe he enjoys her company – twice a year – and has no desire to upset the status quo. Before you jump into all sorts of fantasies about your new life together, maybe you should find out what plans – if any – he has for the two of you. Chances are he will balk at the suggestion and embark on a 6-month vacation to Japan until your insanity abates.

I want a divorce, but my “parttime lover” hasn’t yet told me if he wants the same. Should I let go of my husband for this man?

Got a problem? Write to Dina at weekend@ dhakatribune. com


I am in the final year of my undergraduate degree. During my university days, I had a number of friends but I never got involved in any relationships. Recently, I have been getting closer to a boy with whom I share common friends. I’ve had a great time hanging out and addafying with him. I think I might be in love with him, and I assume that he feels the same way for me. The problem is he is my brother’s best friend, and five years younger than me. How do I tell my family?


That’s easy. You don’t. If you’re in college, then he must be a teenager. While you’re too young to be a cougar, I believe the term for women in their twenties who prey on younger men is “puma.” You don’t want to be thought of as a bloodthirsty feline who has to chase down younger and weaker mates, do you? While that may not be the case, the fact is our society is not prepared for older women cavorting with younger men. Even in the most progressive of households, you would be cast into a cavern of shame – only metaphorically, one hopes. Forget your parents for the moment and think of your brother, who will be duly mocked by friend and foe for allowing his older sister to transgress her boundaries by seducing his friend, while his friend will get laughed out of school for dating a “buri.” It’s a no-win situation, my dear. I suggest you spend less time with the young bucks and focus on graduating, and then find a guy who is moving in the same direction as you. Or at least one who won’t pay for his dates with pocket money.

Dina Sobhan is a freelance writer, and cautions readers not to take her ‘advice’ here too seriously!


Cartoon: Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy/Dhaka Tribune

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How to be your own nurse | Health


7 hospital need-to-knows

Protect yourself from medical negligence Farhana Urmee

Photo: Mahbub Hossain Opu


etting admitted to a hospital can be stressful. You can feel rather vulnerable as you await treatment from the experts, hoping to get well soon. One should never be too embarrassed to insist on proper care. It is their duty, and your right. Below is a list of several things you need to be aware of about hospital service in Bangladesh, regardless of whether it is a public or private institution.

1) Know your history

Check that your medical history is written on your chart correctly and in detail. Patients with diabetes or hypertension may have frequent fluctuations in blood pressure and blood sugar levels. Such medical information needs to be diligently recorded throughout treatment. A careless nurse may fail to properly record your health particulars. Small mistakes may seem insignificant to you, but could be very important for your treatment. After each test, make sure the results get written in your file.

4) Reject the quickie consult 2) Monitor the monitors

Patients should also keep their eyes on the blood pressure machine. Nurses check your pressure, and they may know how to do it, but it is not unheard of for the machine itself not to be working. Based on a single faulty assessment, you could be prescribed medication that could weaken you, or perhaps even kill you if not caught in time. Know your basic vitals. If you find any inconsistencies with your normal readings, ask the nurses to check them twice.

3) Second-guess your diagnosis

Basic misdiagnoses are so commonplace they are almost the norm. Young girls with gastric issues have taken urine tests and been told they were pregnant. X-rays have failed to catch fractures, leaving patients to dangerously exacerbate the issue due to a lack of timely treatment. Blood tests have shown nonexistent STDs. When in doubt, get a second or third opinion – it is worth the cost and could be a lifesaver.

A post surgery patient may get only 30 seconds of attention from consultant doctors, even the morning after surgery. Gallingly, the quickie consultation includes suggestions on next steps for the patient after a cursory check of the case history of the patient and his or her current condition. Even if you are admitted to a private hospital in Dhaka and are paying a decent amount of money, you can never rely completely on the service. Well-meaning duty doctors can unintentionally contribute to this, as they have less qualifications and experience. Insist on getting your money’s worth from your consultant doctor.

5) Nurses can be a pain

For basic pain, you can expect support from the nurses. But in the case of medical complications, nurses should not try to provide the answers, but rather notify the doctors and extend a helping hand as needed. Women in delivery should be forewarned: If you opt not to have a C-section, but seek normal delivery instead, nurses

in many clinics and hospitals may misbehave with you, or not be interested in helping you while you are in pain.

6) Use the referral express line

In public hospitals, there have been instances of patients dying in the emergency ward before ever being looked at by doctors. The reason is the lack of nurses at these hospitals. Irrespective of what kind of hospital you’re in, try to go to a doctor who is known to you, or was recommended by an acquaintance. In that case, you have a higher chance of receiving quality attention and better treatment.

7) Beware the ward boys

If you have an accident or emergency, and are sent to a public hospital assumed to provide the best treatment, you should know that you will not be able to get a seat or bed unless you have paid a middleman or broker. More distressingly, the ward boys often pretend to be doctors, doing stitches and minor surgery in order to pocket the fees. Make sure you check in with your actual doctor.


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18 Stay in | ‘How to’ films

What I learned from the movies Ruwaida Khandker

2. How to deal with a bad reputation: Easy A (2010, starring Emma Stone) In this witty comedy, Olive Penderghast lies about losing her virginity in an attempt to seem cool, and she is suddenly the talk of her school. Recognising her talent at making up sexual affairs, the unpopular males in her school ask her to spread stories about faux love affairs with her, in exchange for money and gift cards. Wearing an assortment of expensive lingerie, Olive talks you through exactly how she gets herself into and out of this mess.


Use the numbers 1-9 to complete each of the 3x3 square grids such that each horizontal and vertical line also contains all of the digits from 1-9

3. How to deal with unrequited love: Flipped (2010, starring Madeline Carroll and Callan MacAuliffe) Many of us have suffered from unrequited love. Flipped is a heartening drama that centres around the lives of two 12-yearold children. In the second grade, Julianna ‘Juli’ Baker falls head over heels in love with Bryce Loski. She is determined, but he rebuffs and ridicules her. After 5 years Julie finally realises Bryce is not meant for her. Predictably, Bryce has his own reaction to her change of heart. 4. How to deal with break ups: High Fidelity (2000, starring John Cusack) John Cusack plays Rob, an easy going record store owner who has faced being dumped a fair few times. He walks us through his top 5 break ups, including the one he is currently going through. We meet his nagging mother and his crumbling record business. If you've just had a tough break up, this funny and engaging film is the perfect antidote.

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6. How to deal with illness: 50/50 (2011, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anna Kendrick) 50/50 follows the life of 27-year-old Adam Learner who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in this beautiful, funny and heart-warming film. He breaks up with his cheating girlfriend Rachel, while dealing with his mother, an Alzheimer’s

Mini cryptics Clues

ACROSS 1 Something else, or the alternative (5) 5 Expression of distaste in plug hair (3) 6 Brand new cloth (5) 8 Nimble soldier found in jar (5) 10 Highest rated to place first (3) 11 Plant between old you and me (5) DOWN 1 Egg dish to let me scramble (7) 2 Egg provider in the news (3) 3 Hurry to henhouse (3) 4 Chequers perhaps home to orientals (7) 7 Energy horse gets from Easter symbol (3) 8 Initially a private trouser fitting (3) 9 The girl 4 you? (3)

Last week’s sudoku solutions

5. How to find friends: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012, starring Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) This beautiful, eye-opening film is not your usual teen flick. Charlie is a freshman who is taken under the wing of seniors step-sister and brother Sam and Patrick. Prior to meeting them, Charlie had only one friend, who committed suicide, and he would always feel as though he didn’t belong. The two introduce Charlie to their friend circle and he finally feels a part of something. While battling his forbidden love for Sam and coping with the death of his aunt, Charlie learns how beautiful life can be when you are surrounded by people you love.

patient who insists on moving in with him. Adam then develops an unlikely bond with his therapist Katie, while his best friend Kyle tries to keep his spirits high when he is told he must undergo a dangerous operation. 7. How to make the most of your career: Today’s Special (2009, starring Aasif Mandvi and Naseeruddin Shah) In this funny foodie flick, Samir, a sous chef in Manhattan, quits his job when he is not promoted. He then decides to venture out to Paris for an internship. But when his father becomes sick, Samir must stay home to run his family’s Indian restaurant in Queens. Despite struggling with the cooking, Samir gets in touch with his Indian heritage, setting himself on an exploration of his cultural identity.

Last week’s Mini Cryptics solutions

1. How to skip school and make it worthwhile: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986, starring Matthew Broderick) This classic 80s comedy will warm your heart and leave you in stitches of laughter. Ferris Bueller is your average American teenager who just wants to take a break from the hellhole that is high school. We’ve all been there, right? Watch as Ferris fools his parents and teachers, and sets out to have the best day of his life in Chicago.

ACROSS 1 Where one lives is partly in Panama (7) 4 Scene shows Mario in commercial returns (7) 6 Twisting road ran to mountainous land (7) 7 Elation about something that requires clipping (7) DOWN 1 Messily try hand at firefighting equipment (7) 2 Fair secret agent holds first of lessons (5) 3 A five in way of effort (7) 5 Courts temptress initially in song (5)

no fault in their stars | Go out

No fault in their stars When July 18-Aug 18, 3pm and 7pm daily Where Blockbuster Cinemas, Jamuna Future Park, Bashundhara What The Fault in Our Stars and began actively trying to bring the movie to Dhaka. After lengthy proceedings, they announced that they would be screening the film. “People have messaged both Sel and me, thanking us for starting this initiative. Everyone seems hopeful that this will start a new trend in Bangladesh,” said Sifana.

How can you get your favourite film onto the big screen in Dhaka? With determination, persistence, and a little help from your friends on social networks. Making it happen Sifana Sohail and Selima Kabir, both 19, founders of the Young Adult Novel Appreciation Club, are huge fans of John Green. When they heard Hollywood was making a movie based on his best-selling book, The Fault in Our Stars, they were thrilled, and eager to see it on the big screen. “Not many good young adult (YA) non-action/adventure movies are shown in Bangladesh. We hoped that if TFiOS (as it is called) were released in Bangladesh, it might open the floodgates for other YA movies,” said Sifana. The duo approached several theatres, and finally landed a meeting with Blockbuster Cinemas. The management was tentative at first, and then told them 20th Century Fox was not interested in showing the film in Bangladesh. “We had to prove that an audience for these films exists in Bangladesh.” Blockbuster told them that if they could confirm the existence of 5,000 interested viewers, the organisation would consider bringing in the movie. “We opened a Facebook page asking people interested to join. We received an overwhelming response. It was not something we had expected, and we were able to go back to Blockbuster almost immediately.” Armed with the crucial “likes,” Blockbuster watched the movie,

Recogntion from the author Nerdfighters were also instrumental to their success. Nerdfighters are a huge international community trying to make the world better. Ethel Ester, for whom the book was written, turned to the Nerdfighter community for strength when she was diagnosed with cancer. The Bangladeshi chapter reached out to offer support in bringing the film to Dhaka. “When we decided to shoot a fan promo, we cast fellow Nerdfighters and shot the video at and near my house in Baridhara DOHS. Shawn from the Uncultured Project, a fellow Nerdfighter, tweeted the video. John Green then retweeted the video – calling it brilliant and hilarious. The pair said: “It’s amazing to have our video recognised by someone whose own YouTube videos are internationally renowned.” About the film The Fault In Our Stars follows the life of Hazel Grace, a 16-year-old cancer patient with a love for books and reality TV. Her parents, concerned that Hazel does not want to make new friends, send her to a cancer support group with other teenagers facing the same problems. Here she meets Augustus Waters – a charming, happy-go-lucky boy. They click instantly. Their friendship slowly turns into love, and the pair become inseparable. Augustus surprises Hazel with a visit to Amsterdam so Hazel can meet the author of her favourite book, Peter Van Houten. Despite having the time of her life, Hazel finds out Peter Van Houten is not at all that he seems, and Augustus reveals some heartbreaking news. Will Hazel’s newly exciting and positive life go back to being miserable and comfortless?


July 18


Weekly Planner

Photography | History Captured in Lens: A Tribute to Tajuddin Ahmed

When 11am-5pm Where Gallery Twenty One, 751 Satmasjid Road, Dhanmondi What An exhibition with photographs of Tajuddin Ahmed, Bangladesh’s first prime minister, will be held observing his 89th birth anniversary. The exhibition is curated by his daughter Simeen Hossain Rimi. Minister of Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Huq will inaugurate the exhibition.

Cause | Save Humanity, Save Palestine

When 3:30pm-5pm Where National Press Club What A human chain in front of the National Press Club in protest at the genocide in Palestine. Anyone interested can participate.

Charity | UNYSAB Eid for Street Children 2014

When 6pm Where TSC, University of Dhaka What Eid for Street Children aims to support underprivileged street children during Eid by distributing clothes, study materials, and food, followed by an iftar for street children. Donations can be cash, clothes, dry food (shemai, powder milk, sugar). Top donors will be invited to the programme. The initiative is by the UN Youth and Students Association of Bangladesh. To make donations, contact or call 01195239756.

July 19 Art | Her words: Storytelling with Saris

When 5pm Where EMK Center, House 5, Rd 16 (new) 27 (old), Dhanmondi What For this exhibition inauguration and book launch, author Monica Jahan Bose collaborated with 12 women of the



Katakhali Cooperative in Patuakhali, with whom she made 24 woodblock printed saris. The process was made into a documentary by New York-based filmmaker Nandita Ahmed, which will also be screened. Monica has presented this work in New York at the DUMBO Art Festival and Brooklyn Museum. The exhibition is part of the ongoing, collaborative printmaking and story project, highlighting the achievements of literacy and climate adaptation by the Katakhali women. To learn more, see The exhibition will run July 19-August 9.

July 20 Charity | Iftar party for street children

When 5pm Where Robindro Sorobor, Road 7A, Dhanmondi What Dream Box is organising an iftar party for street children around Dhanmondi. Interested parties should contact the numbers provided and contribute Tk200. Larger donations will also be accepted. Contact 01680105768. Bkash: 01680105768.

July 24 Music | EMK Platform Presents: Trio Night

When 7:30pm Where EMK Center, House 5, Rd 16 (new) 27 (old), Dhanmondi What The first set of a classical trio – a much anticipated take on North Indian classical music with Nishit Dey on sitar, Imran Ahmed on guitar and Dipankar Aich on tablas. These three incorporate versatile musical techniques and promising ideas. The second set features Imran Ahmed’s trio with Towfiq Arifin Turjo and Alistair Sarkar Raj. It will make you groove to their progressive rhythms and jazzy melodies.

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20 Interview | How to be a legendary physicist

Ali Asgar Magnetic professor The man who literally wrote the textbook on physics, talks about favourite students, translating science for laymen, and Eid Faisal Mahmud


eaching physics at the university makes a physics professor. Thinking, pondering and living with physics makes a physicist,” says Dr Ali Asgar, who was named one of the 100 most prominent physicists in the world by New Scientist magazine. Professor Asgar certainly lives with physics. During the late 90s, he became renowned for his appearances on national television. He memorably said about Eid: “Like electrons inside a material that get excited in presence of energy, little children get excited on Eid day.” At that time, Asgar was a legend. Students at Bangladeshi high schools grew up reading the textbook written by him. An acclaimed orator and writer, he has written more than 100 books on popular science. He has also published over one hundred and fifty articles in journals like Proceeding Royal Society, Physical Review, and the Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials. But he became infamous after another quotation of his appeared in the press. He reportedly told the media: “The secondary curriculum shouldn’t have religion as a compulsory subject.” He received death threats. The government put his house inside the teacher’s quarters of Buet under 24-hour police protection. I recently got a chance to interview Asgar at his Uttara residence. It’s a three-story building and the entire second floor is filled with more than 15,000 books. This is his workplace now. By way of introduction, I asked him about the two

proven. So my answer is: No. Yes, sometimes I feel like some of my engineering students could do really well in theoretical physics. I still remember one student from the electrical engineering department, named Asif Islam Khan. He was one of the brightest students ever at Buet. Now he is doing his postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley. Incidentally, his research work involves more theoretical physics than applied physics. I find satisfaction in teaching because of students like him.

quotations attributed to him. He said he could remember the infamous one about religion, but not the one about Eid: “I still remember that there were four policemen guarding my residence for two months. It was kind of embarrassing.” Once the best students in the country used to study physics, but not anymore. Why do you think this is happening? Studying physics is hard – maybe that’s the reason [laughs]. You see, students these days have become career-orientated, and there are very few job opportunities in the country for those who study physics. However, the truth is if a nation wants to earn respect in this world, then they need to

Meet Dr M Ali Asgar • He is currently a visiting professor in the electronics & communications engineering department at East West University • He is a fellow of the Bangladesh Academy of Science, a fellow of

WEEKEN D TR I BU N E | F R I DAY, J U LY 1 8 , 201 4

the Bangladesh Physical Society, and chief editor of the Bangladesh Journal of Physics • He was formerly a professor of physics at Buet, dean of the faculty of engineering at Buet, a Commonwealth staff

Photo: Courtesy

beget physicists. Look at history, look at the western world. They are now in this position only because they had and have physicists. Why physics? Why not? Physics is the study of particles. If you know about particles, you can manipulate them, and by manipulating particles, you can invent and create. You have been a physics professor at Buet for more than 30 years. Some of the best students in the country go to Buet, but they mostly study engineering. Do you find that ironic? Engineering is applied physics. Everything that an engineer implements is based on physical laws that physicists have

fellow at Southampton University in England, and a research fellow at ICTP in Italy and at IPPS Upsala University in Sweden • His field of research includes: magnetism and magnetic materials, renewable energy,

You have written more than 100 books on popular science. In 2012, you received a Bangla Academy award for one of your science books. Which gives you more pleasure, writing books on popular science, or writing research papers for journals? I like both. Writing technical papers involves rigorous lab experiments and studying. So does writing books on popular science, surprisingly. Sometimes I find it easy to understand a hypothesis through mathematical symbols and equations. But I find it hard to describe those in language. I have to understand it and make others understand it properly, so it’s a double task for me when I write books on popular science. But I would say writing technical papers is not hard. Hard is forming and postulating the technical ideas, especially the original ones. It is probably the hardest task in the world, and also the most rewarding.


medical physics, specially magnetic structure by neutron diffraction, magnetic elastic effect, magnetic phase transition, magnetic anisotropy, magnet resistance and other secondary effects in magnetism.

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