A visionary for IUB
Megan Marsha Barrokh Edwards
Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB) is well known for the wide range of courses that it offers to students. Fortunately, Prof. Omar Rahman, Pro Vice Chancellor of IUB, has a bigger vision. He says that if he had to put his vision for IUB concisely, it would be 'Ivy League'. He wishes to transform IUB into an internationally recognized university. Prof. Omar Rahman, a student and faculty member of Harvard University, says that one of the major attributes of a high quality university would be its commitment to liberal arts, so as to provide young individuals with a more broad perspective. Along with valuable education, he wishes to make these individuals good citizens, so that they may welcome diversity with open arms and embrace it. This is a new model of education that will focus more on breadth in addition to depth, therefore creating an institute where thinking is given more emphasis than memorization. IUB also has certain programs, namely AIESEC and HECUA, in order to expand and promote international recognition because IUB feels that it is important to interact with international institutions. In addition, IUB also organizes Student Research and Exchange programs, where many students came from Harvard and recently a number of students came from Smith College, USA. IUB also runs the Bangla Language Institute, which offers an intensive three-month course for foreign students to learn Bangla. Apart from all this, IUB is unique because both faculty members and students have equal access to the Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor and so on. Prof. Omar Rahman believes that IUB is ripe with innovative individuals, who just need a strong sense of confidence to spark a flame inside their minds, so that they can break free from the ordinary sphere and unleash a great deal of creativity. To sum it up, Prof. Omar Rahman has a strong vision to produce 'all-round' individuals, who have strong analytic and communication skills so that they can tackle whatever challenges are ahead of them and can stand out from the crowd, feeling empowered and enlightened.
The motorcycle diaries
Nope, this has nothing to do with The Bicycle Thief, although this book has been made into a successful motion picture in Spanish. You can always grab a copy of the movie with English subtitles, but the book is a masterpiece.
This "Revolutionary Bestseller", as the Guardian puts it, was a diary account of than the Argentine born Ernesto Che Guevara, on his journey across Argentina, Chile, Peru and Venezuela, with his friend Alberto Granado. You could probably think of it as notes on a Latin American journey, on the surface. It is an extraordinary story of the transformation from an ordinary lad to a revolutionary. The book's value lies in the fact that it speaks of 'Che', at a time anyone from Argentina arriving in Chile was called 'Che'.
It all began when the two buddies set out in January 1952 on Granado's Norton 500 "La Poderosa" motorbike, which literally means "The Mighty One". However, it didn't prove mighty enough during their foolishly adventurous itinerary. One might be tempted to think of the zeroth card "The Fool" of the full deck of Tarot Cards, where one steps out into the unknown with optimism and is cautioned by the symbolical barking dog. Only here they were accompanied by "Comeback", the dog who had to suffer miserably in this journey.
First published as Notas de Viaje (Travel Notes), The Motorcycle Diaries project Ernesto's quixotic trip across the "photographic negative" of North America, marked by candor and his unconventionally sensitive expressions. A medical school student at the University of Buenos Aires, Che instills faith, persistence and hope in the leper colony, and at the same time gains consciousness into the proletariat world as he comes across the indigenous people of South America. A wholehearted boyish purity can't be missed as you read through the book, which I am still reading, at least figuratively. And don't forget to skim through the preface by Aleida Guevara March, one of the four children of Che with his wife Aleida March. Surprisingly, she may tell you more of the 'person' Che, rather than the 'father' Che, with an unusually worshipping innocence that is rarely seen in daughters towards their fathers. Why not when this is the story of a 'rare' father, who will never age, and will always remain a symbol of youth and revolution.
(R) thedailystar.net 2007