Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 55, Tuesday July 26, 2005




Youth Power

The Story Behind the Amra Bangladesh Bands

On a blustery March day, two young Bangladeshis went out for tea with an Indian friend but returned instead with an idea that would change the course of their lives forever. Thousands of miles from Bangladesh, living in a different land, their patriotism and love for their country helped them fathom an idea that they were sure would change their country in a major way.

Four months and much trials and tribulations later, the two along with three other friends can now proudly proclaim themselves to be the proponents of the "Amra Bangladesh" bands- A noble cause to donate money to the flood and acid victims and the orphanages. By this time almost everyone knows what the Amra Bangladesh bands are and what they look like. But for the benefit of those who don't, it is a red and green band with the words Amra Bangladesh etched into it. And the credit for making all of this rest firmly on the youthful shoulders of Rafaan Seraj, Nicole Mendes, Shayaan Seraj, Navine Mendes and Salman Khan.

The idea was conceived in March but it took almost until early June to start selling the bands to the local market. It was on the 8th of June that Salman Khan managed to make the first sale- and they haven't looked back since. "We were very circumspect at first, not knowing how the public would receive them," says Nicole Mendes. However all her doubts disappeared almost in the first day when Salman managed to make nearly two hundred sales during lunch break at AISD school. At the moment Navine Mendes is in Canada where she has been highly successful in promoting the bands amongst the expatriates. To date almost 3000 have been sold.

"There was almost a time when we thought that the bands would never be made," recalls Rafaan. However, thankfully they managed to pull it off and with quite spectacular results. The quintet also recalls that they were lucky at least in terms of connections when launching the band. Athar Ali Khan and Ayub Bachu are only two amongst other illustrious names who helped provide a launching pad for the bands.

Giving to charity has almost become a publicity gimmick these days, but what makes the aforementioned five different is the way they are going about it and the effort that they are making to make sure that whatever they are donating reaches the intended people. They are not donating money but even going to the added 'trouble' of purchasing the things for the mentioned charities. For this they are using their judgment. "Some charities demand TT tables or basketball courts. At the moment these are out of our reach but we are making an effort to see that the basic necessities of food clothing shelter and medical supplies are taken care of first," relates Salman Khan and Shayaan Seraj.

The bands itself tell an alluring tale. The two colors of red and green represent the national colors of Bangladesh and the quote of "Amra Bangladesh" has a story of its own. " First and foremost it represents unity,' says Rafaan. Relates Nicole, "It tells us that all together, we are one- the people of Bangladesh. No matter what we do or who we are as members of this country we have a duty to help our nation. We should be there for each other all the time."

Malcom X once said "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today." The quintet above epitomizes the statement to almost perfect detail. They show that the power of youth once united can be a great thing. If there are more people like this we can rest assured that our country is in good hands.

(For more information on the Amra Bangladesh bands visit their website at www.project-bangladesh.com )

By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam

News flash

Brit-Bangla chefs strut their stuff in Bangladesh

In the year 2002 when the first International British Bangladesh Fusion Food Festival was held at Dhaka Sheraton it was a huge success. Eventually it led to the second one which will be held this year between 24 to 30 August.

Jointly organised by Curry Life Magazine and Dhaka Sheraton Hotel the Festival will be held over seven days, and will showcase the best British Fusion cuisine, the work of some of the UK's most creative Bangladeshi Chefs. Amongst those selected to participate at the festival are: Mr Mortuz Ali from Yorkshire, Mr Oli Khan from Hertfordshire, Mr Mohin Bakth from Surrey and Mr Johur Ali from Milton Keynes.

A prominent food hygiene consultant, Mr Shamsul Islam from Oxfordshire is also on the delegation. He will be providing exclusive training to all participating chefs and Dhaka Sheraton staff.

Selections were made based on the excellence in ingredients and method used to produce fusion food, presentation and hygiene practice demonstrated by the competitors.

Also, Curry Life has arranged discounted hotel room rates for British-Bangladeshis visiting the Festival at the Dhaka Sheraton. This special rate is only available during the Festival period.

-LS Desk

Cookbook clips

BY Sherifa Ahmed

Tandoori Chicken
Chicken (whole) Two (500gm each)
Salt to taste
Red Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Lemon juice 3 tbsp
Yoghurt 1/2 cup
Cream 1/2 cup
Ginger, Garlic paste 2/3 tbsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Garam masala 1 tsp
Saffron a pinch
Orange colour a pinch
Refined oil/ Butter for basting
Chaat masala

Clean the chicken and make deep incision on the breasts, thighs, and legs.
Mix salt red chilli powder, and lemon juice together. Rub this paste into the chicken evenly. Keep aside for half an hour. Whisk yoghurt, cream, and remaining ingredients
( except last two) to make a smooth paste. Coat the chicken with this mixture. Marinate for 4-5 hours. Skewer the chicken leaving a gap of 3-4". Roast in a moderately hot
tandoor / grill / oven for 20-30 minutes. Remove, baste with butter/ oil and roast for another 4-5 minutes. Cut into pieces, sprinkle chaat masala and serve hot.

Fish Tikka
Fish, cut into boneless pieces 1 kg
Ghee 1/2 cup
Onions, sliced 1/2 cup
Garlic, chopped 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder 2 tbsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Cumin powder I tsp
Turmeric powder1 tsp
Yoghurt 1/2 cup
Butter for basting

Heat the ghee in a pan, fry the onions till brown. Remove, drain excess ghee and blend the onions to a smooth paste. In the same pan, fry the garlic and keep aside. Allow the ghee to cool. Mix the onions paste, garlic, the remaining ingredients, and fish pieces with the ghee and keep aside for 2 hours. Skewer the fish pieces and roast in a tandoor / oven / grill for 10-15 minutes. Remove, baste with butter and cook further for 5-7 minutes.
Remove from skewers and serve hot.

Ginger Mutton Chops
Mutton chops 12
Papaya paste 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Ginger past 3 tbsp
Garlic paste 4 tsp
Black pepper powder 1 tsp
Cream 3 tbsp
Cumin powder 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder 2 tsp
Garam masal 2 tsp
Lemon juice 2 tbsp
Butter / oil for basting

Clean chops and flatten them slightly with a spatula. Mix together the papaya paste, salt, ginger and garlic paste, pepper and rub the mixture onto the chops. Keep aside for 3-4 hours. Whisk cream along with cumin powder, garam masala and lemon juice. Coat the chops well and leave to marinate further for an hour. Preheat oven to 175 0C / 350 0F. Skewer chops an inch apart and roast in oven/ tandoori / grill for 20 30 minutes. Hang skewers for a couple of minutes to let excess liquid drip off. Baste with butter and roast again for 5 6 minutes until lightly browned. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot.


Common beauty blunders
Oops! Beauty blunders are common mistakes women make and usually do not even realise it. Do you fall into this category?

Listed here are top beauty blunders that can ruin your overall appearance. If you find yourself here, the solutions are pretty easy. Don't feel bad. It can happen to the best of us.

Neglecting the overall appearance a mistake that everyone makes. Even if nobody is going to see you, good hygiene and your overall appearance plays a large role in your self-esteem.

Bad oral hygiene is out. You may not notice your teeth because you are not looking at them, but your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. Keep your teeth brushed and flossed. It's healthy and attractive.

Forgetting your hands is enough to ruin a special meeting. Soften your hands with lotion and keep your fingernails clean. Top this off with a great manicure. If you have beautiful rings, why put them on mangy hands?

Over-plucked eyebrows never go unnoticed. Don't get carried away when plucking your eyebrows. Take your time and buy an eyebrow stencil if necessary. If you make a mistake, use an eyebrow or eyeliner pencil the same colour as your eyebrows to fill in sparse areas.

Among the top make-up blunders is heavy foundation or overall too much make-up. If your foundation and other make-up is applied too heavily, it will cheapen your look, clog your pores, and accentuate fine lines and wrinkles.

Not blending in your make-up can also cheapen your look. Always blend in your make-up to soften those lines. Foundation, eye shadow and blush all need to be smoothed in for a natural look.

There are common hair mistakes too, pulling your hair back too tight. Leave some slack when pulling your hair back into a ponytail or bun. If it's too tight, it looks strict and may even give you a headache.

If you are thinking of colouring your hair check out samples that goes with your skin colour. One may desire to be a brunette but the colour might not suit our Asian skin.

Some times we spend loads of money styling our hair that does not suit. Hair cut should always complement the shape of the face.

-LS Desk

Pop up

Having a healthy argument
Often people storm out of the room suddenly when they were in the middle of an argument with their partners. Often partners hide or refuses to argue. Someone who storms out of an argument is leaving because s/he cannot find another way to deal with the emotional stress. Perhaps the partner is afraid of getting too angry and violent ... perhaps they simply do not know how to deal with the emotions fighting brings on.

It is always wise to say the things what is needed to be said. Find a time when you both are able to talk for a while, when you steady in the head and talk about how you feel. Is s/he feeling out of control? Is s/he just unhappy with discussing things? Talk about what in particular leads her/him to these feelings, and the next time you start to fight, watch for those signs. Start to back off when they occur, and call a timeout. This will give you both a chance to cool off before he leaves, and after a while it will become natural to stay and finish talking.


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