|Home | Issues | The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 10, Tuesday October 14, 2003|
The Nobel Peace Prize 2003
The Nobel committee awarded the 2003 peace prize to an Iranian writer, lawyer and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi.
"As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, far beyond its borders," the Norwegian Nobel committee said in its citation.
The committee praised her courage, and said she had never heeded threats to her own safety.
"Her principal arena is the struggle for basic human rights, and no society deserves to be labelled civilised unless the rights of women and children are respected. In an era of violence, she has consistently supported non-violence," the committee said.
Ms Ebadi, 56, is only the 11th woman, the 1st Muslim woman and the first Iranian - to have won the peace prize since it was first awarded in 1901.
The committee said Ms Ebadi represents reformed Islam, and lauded her for arguing for a new interpretation of Islamic law which is in harmony with vital human rights such as democracy and equality before the law.
The secretive five-member awards committee, which is appointed by but does not answer to Norway's parliament, gives no hints about its choice beforehand. It also keeps the names of candidates, a record 165 this year, secret for 50 years, although those who make nominations often reveal them.
She is small in stature but a force to be reckoned with in and out of the courtroom. Shirin Ebadi is said to be one-woman human-rights machine, inspiring students through her law faculty lectures, forcing judges to acknowledge contradictions in Iran's legal code and lobbying parliament to protect the rights of children born out of marriage.
As a lawyer, judge, lecturer, writer and activist, she has spoken out clearly and strongly in her country, Iran, and far beyond its borders. She has stood up as a sound professional, a courageous person, and has never given into the threats to her own safety. Shirin Ebadi is definitely a role model for both Muslim and non-Muslim women. Even in a conservative society, she has stood out and made her mark on the global scene.
By Mishel Ali Khan
of Epique Institute
Life isn't easy for the modern urban woman. The feminist movement has ensured access to education, and career opportunities for her, but at the end of the day, no matter what exhausting timetable she has to follow at work, she is expected to play the role of homemaker. If she doesn't possess all the different skills required to be successful in this role, she is considered incomplete as a woman.
Keeping this quandary in mind, Epique Institute, an associate company of Epique Home Appliances Ltd., formally began operation on October 10, 2003, following a simple inauguration ceremony. The aim of this institute is to help today's women develop skills necessary for modern living. The courses available are Healthy Food, Home/Interior Decoration, Health Care, and Child Care. Starting December, the institute will also offer courses on Self-Grooming and Beauty Care. The course duration for each course is 1-4 weeks, and there are two separate sessions: a Morning Session from 9:30 a.m. 12:30 p.m., and an Afternoon Session from 3:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. A special Evening Course is available for working women. Epique Institute is possibly the first of its kind in Bangladesh.
The opening ceremony, which was held at the Institute at "Swarachito Sheboti", House 50, Road 10/A, Dhanmondi, enjoyed a massive turnout of invited guests and members of the Press. Chief Guest Ms. Rokeya Afzal Rahman, Advisor for the Interim Caretaker Government inaugurated the ceremony. Mr. M.S.I Dastagir, Chairman of the institute conducted the ceremony, and Mr. Mizanur Rahman Laskar (Director), and Ms. Rahima Sultana (Principal), gave the guests a tour of the building.
The classrooms are small, but airy and comfortable, with the intention of providing individual attention to small class groups. The dé cor of the building is simple, neat and functional. The ground floor houses a showroom for Epique Home Appliances Ltd., which is an exclusive distributor for well-known brands of home appliances like Moulinex, Tefal, Brandt, and Yashica, to name a few. The upper floors of the building contain the classrooms, as well as the administrative department of the institute.
Those who attended the function were offered a Tk. 500 discount from the Admission Fee if they joined that very day. Needless to say, there were many that took up on the offer. There were snacks for everyone, and the programme ended with a Raffle Draw, and a few lucky winners went home with attractive prizes.
So if you want to brush up on your homemaking skills, it wouldn't hurt to give Epique a try.
For further information
on course timings and fees, contact:
true taste of Asia byTommy Miah
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