Reflections about my work

After nine years of working in one of the most dynamic departments of New Age, I have moved to manage a new section. I have been asked to manage the most cursed department of the newspaper – a section that not only suffers a lack of identity but also has miserably failed to find a consistent leadership. I have come in after four persons were given responsibility to manage the section, and all of them have landed outside the office some way or the other. There’s very little incentive I see to be excited about given the current state of the section and with the constraints in resources. But on the brighter side, the expectation is usually very little from the least performing, which gives me room to turn it around.

I have been best as a field reporter and frankly a journalist is best known for their work in the field. But with changes in time and personal circumstances, I had however, considered extending my experience to a team of writers to get better results than I could get alone for the department. But that didn’t work out well. Some work is best left to the top because you can do only so much.

The work of journalism is liquid. You can apply the skills anywhere so long you have the passion to do it. Even a couple of years ago I never thought business journalism would be an area I would specialize but today people pay to hear my take on doing business in Bangladesh.

The new department that I have been asked to look after is the most looked down section of the paper. In fact before I took charge of it, I never really considered this integral to the paper, not because the section is less important but it simply did not hold an appeal for me. And now that is what I have to turn around. Today is the first change in the layout I bring to the page since I have taken over last week.

Memories of Mosaic

Mosaic 2013 familyIt’s amazing how two weeks have nested a family so big that dots over the world. I have returned home only this morning and I am terribly missing all of you at Mosaic Summit 2013. The early morning walks (and sometimes runs :P) for breakfast at Greenwich to the sessions at Queen Ann Hall with all the amazing speakers, the friendships we have made, the grand visit to Clarence House to meet HRH The Prince of Wales and so many more keep coming back to my mind now. It was a privilege how Prince Charles made the time to meet and speak to everyone of us. I was amazed by how Princess Badiya recognized me at once at the Clarence House. This is the first time I have met someone with such a sharp memory or the likes of her effort to remember people! A week to the trip, we moved to Cambridge, the city of colleges and universities and great architectures. Binna and  Read more of this post

A brief about Mosaic delegates from Bangladesh

Mosaic Bangladesh Team 2013Finally, it seems I have brought things slightly in shape. It’s probably time I feel a little excited about my trip to UK for the Mosaic International Leadership Programme. For the whole week until yesterday, I had filed ten reports for the new Monitor venture, one cover story for New Age Xtra. Those are besides the regular edits and tentative planning for the magazine I had to make before I board my flight tonight.

Coming back to Mosaic, last week, the eight Bangladeshis selected for the 2013 leadership summit to be held between September 8 and 21 met for an informal introduction. To simply put, it is a fascinating combination. It’s a mix of development practitioners, engineer, physician and journalist that would represent Bangladesh at this year’s programme.

A total of 64 delegates from across the world are expected to participate at this year’s programme with eight group leaders, who were delegates in the past two leadership programmes. Mosaic is founded by HRH The Prince of Wales.

Here’s a brief introduction about the Bangladeshis about to disperse among the eight global mix of groups: Read more of this post


Following is an excerpt from my internship report submitted after my bachelors:


It has been a wonderful passage of time during my baccalaureate at the University of Liberal Arts Bangladesh. I had first tried to enrol in ULAB in 2007 with a single subject in my Advance Level. I did not qualify. I required a minimum of two subjects to be eligible for enrolment in the university. After a long gap of studies because of work and financial constraints, I finally took the courage in fall of 2009 to start my undergrad. It still looked a long way – four years of full time education! As I reach completion of my undergrad I must mention few persons who have constantly supported me in my endeavours, kept my spirit up and who I am indebted to. Firstly, I am grateful to my Amma for her support, encouragement, prayers and celebration at every little success that I achieved in my life. She has been the most caring mother, who would wake up early in the morning to make sure I took breakfast before leaving for school and would stay up late until I arrived from my office. I remember my late father on this day for his wishes and efforts at seeing me excel and shine in my education and career. I acknowledge the support of my former features editor at New Age, Mubin S Khan for sparing me during office hours to do my classes. I am thankful to my best friend Syed Tashfin Chowdhury, for his constant support, for cracking all the bad jokes to cheer me up, for listening to my ranting and venting, and being an inspiration in many ways. Lastly but not the least, I am grateful to the management of ULAB, for providing me with a scholarship to fulfil my undergrad studies.

Read my post from three years ago when I first started my bachelors:

Right now, right here, where am I

2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 2,500 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 4 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

‘We have not built this industry in a planned way’

In light of a devastating fire at Tazreen Fashions claiming more than hundred lives, Shafiul Islam, president of Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers & Exporters Association (BGMEA), explains the industry’s efforts and flaws in an exclusive interview with Saad Hammadi

Three fire incidents in garment factories occurred within a space of three days. There is a saying, two is a coincidence but three is a trend. What do you make out of the situation?
Before any inquiry result comes we cannot say specifically what was behind it. Few people are saying it is a conspiracy, because Sumi, the worker of Debonair, was paid to set a fire. This is one angle of the inquiry. We, as BGMEA, have been doing training, monitoring, and ensuring fire safety. We have collaborated with brands, launched two films and made posters to create awareness, held three crash programmes in 2001, 2006 and 2010. After all these we have seen a very productive result in 2007, 2008 and 2009. We found no casualty even in 2011. So those have been going all good. In 2010 we have seen one incident and now the latest incident at Tazreen Fashions is shocking. We are trying to support the families who have lost their loved ones, as much as possible. We are taking utmost priority to take care of the injured patients at the hospital. We have seen them in a miserable condition at the Dhaka Medical College. Immediately we have taken initiative to shift them for better treatment, because they deserve it. If necessary we will send them Read more of this post

‘The most terrific instrument of repression’

Enforced disappearance is a technique to conceal crimes committed by state agencies. While human rights organisations continue raising concerns, very little has changed. Political leaders and activists of the opposition including youths and a garment labour leader were abducted this year, some of whose bodies were later recovered. None of the cases have had any conclusive investigation. Rainer Huhle, member of the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearance spoke to Saad Hammadi during his recent visit to Bangladesh on the phenomenon
The definition of enforced disappearance according to international human rights laws suggests secret abduction or detention of a person by a state or political organisation without acknowledging the act. While this is an infringement of human rights, how does the UN as the apex body of international organisations, view the redress for the victims of enforced disappearance?
Reparation is a very important point in the convention.  It is one of the state obligations to repair or redress victims. In material terms it can be compensation but in moral terms, the state has to reinstitute the victims in the social setting.

What about trials?
There are clear obligations for states to prosecute and bring to justice the perpetrators. It is also a relief for the victims to see that the state makes clear that this is a crime.

Is there an example you could give, where justice has been served to victims of enforced disappearance anywhere in the world or where state agencies or the perpetrators were tried for the offence?
During the military dictatorship in Argentina between late ’70s and early ’80s many women were abducted and their children were given away to families who wanted to adopt them, mostly military families.
After change in the regime in 1983, during a democratic period, little by little the judiciary became independent and started investigating Read more of this post