In Memoriam |
A Tribute to Dr. Noorunnahar Fyzennessa
Dr. Halima Khatun
With a heavy heart and deep sorrow I am writing this elegy remembering my friend and colleague professor Dr. Noorunnahar Fyzennessa. I first met her when I started my studies in the university at the University of Dhaka in nineteen fifty two. We did not study the same subject but became friends within a short time. She insisted that I should not call her 'apa' and 'apni'. Only 'Nahar' and 'tumi'. That friendship with 'Nahar' is still deep, serene and cool in the inner region of my heart. Death has snatched her away from us but the mass of activities that she accomplished is proclaiming what she performed during her short stay in this world.
Noorunnahar Fyzennessa was an ordinary person with extraordinary energy and aspiration for good deed. Though she had to work and live with limited amenities the unlimited will power and uncommon love of work made her perform the kinds of activities pertaining to the upliftment of the students' community and society. She did her work not for money and fame, but for self satisfaction and commitment to the society and country at large.
Born in 1931 Fyzennessa attended the famous Sakhawat Memorial Girls School and Victoria Institution in Calcutta, went to Lady Brabourne College Calcutta and Chittagong Govt. College. She graduated from Chittagong Govt. College in 1949. Dr. N Fyzennessa attended the university of Dhaka, obtained M A Degree in political science and also got married to Mr. S. Moqsud Ali, a renowned professor of that department. Afterwards she started her professional career in different educational institutions.
Dr. Fyzennessa took Bachelor in Education Degree from Dhaka Teachers' Training college and was appointed a lecturer there. She was sent abroad on Full Bright scholarship to USA in 1960. She came back successfully, loaded with training and techniques of teaching. Fyzennessa then joined Dhaka University Laboratory school in 1969 as the principal and served for five years. Most of the upliftment work, both in curricular and co-curricular activities took place during her able, imaginative experienced skillful administration and healthy guidance. U Lab students and teachers will praise and remember her for ever. One of my relatives was talking to me about her. When two of her sons were attending the school, she herself was a teacher in another school and was waiting outside U Lab class. On her routine round the principal came and asked her "Why waiting outside? Step in and teach. I know you are a teacher." Such was Fyzennessa so friendly and cordial with her colleagues and associates and also the guardians of the students.
Dr. Fyzennessa was awarded AID scholarship and studied in the university of Northern Colorado, Greeley, Colorado for two years and obtained Doctorate in Education (Ed. D) degree from there. During her stay in Greeley campus she used to take part in co-curricular activities and charmed the fellow students there coming back from USA Dr. N. F Nessa joined the institute of Education and Research as a lecturer and was ultimately promoted to the esteemed post of professor. She served the institution till 1994 with credit, sincerity and dexterity.
DU Mahila Samabai Samity
As my faint and grief stricken memory could recall this is in nutshell her career package. Besides these Noorunnahar Fyzennessa held innumerable posts and positions, membership and associateship in many educational, social and cultural clusters such as Radio Bangladesh, DU Senate, DU syndicate, Pay Commission, Bangladesh Public Administration Centre, Chhayanaut governing body, Asian Regional Population Association, Rokeya Sakhawat Alumni Association, Begum Rokeya Prabeen Abash etc. She is also the founder of Chhayanir day care centre for the children of working parents
Dr. N. F'nessa was appointed as the Provost of Rokeya Hall. A prestigious post, no doubt, but a very tough job to tend and attend girls of all variety temperament and background. But she made it a success and finished her turn very honourably and gracefully. Students, tutors guardians and DU authority of that time still speak highly of her ability and personality.
Dr. N. F'nessa was an uncompromising combatant. She fought for truth and justice till the end of her life very courageously.
This reminds me of the incident if I remember clearly, that led her to the court Dr. Fyzennessa restlessly fought against violence and injustice during her life.
Throughout her long career, we have seen Dr. N F'nessa as a very simple person, almost an ordinary one but with extraordinary capacity. She performed all her duties, responsibilities and undertakings intelligently and properly. Weariness was not known to her. That is why she could achieve and accomplish so much single handed without disturbing a little bit of her domestic, intellectual and academic life. Sometimes my other friends and colleagues would feel jealous of her popularity, but would then realize the depth of her sincerity, and commitments the strength of her character.
A good worker often fails to do justice to his or her family. In the case of Dr. N F'nessa we see the opposite. She was a very successful wife and proud mother she raised four children who have been able to impress all by their worth and ability, skill and personality. I pray to almighty to give them solace in their bereavement and sorrow.
In fine when I go through the high voltage large sheet of her contribution and achievements I feel that she is alive and can never be absent from our vision and our mission to serve humanity.
Dr. Halima Khatun, ex-Director, Institute of Education and Research, DU