Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 5, Issue 13, Tuesday March 25, 2008



Wh`at is meant by Islamic Banking?
Islamic Banking, in general terms means a true Shariah compliant core banking solution. It provides a total riba-free solution to avail various financial products. Islamic Banking is separate from conventional banking by dint of its transactions processing & accounting to business process management & reporting.

What is available in Retail Islamic Banking?
Islamic Banking is currently available in Bangladesh, through banks, which totally follow the Islamic system, while some other banks are offering Islamic banking along with conventional banking. Islamic Banking modules provide a wide variety of Shariah compliant banking products and services. It would be advisable to ask your bank for the complete list of services they provided.

What do I do before going off for a vacation?
The following things must be taken care of: Credit Card and Debit Card- While going on vacation a credit card could be a better option than using the debit card. However, it's even better if you are the type of person who pays off the entire balance each month. Many banks pay rewards points for usage on their credit cards. Some other Banks may offer cash back features, which means the cardholder is entitled to cash rewards, which are applied on the account balance.

Using a credit card will also protect you if your card is lost or stolen. The bank or card company will not honour any unauthorized purchases made through your credit card. Also they will arrange to stop any further fraudulent transactions.
If you are a person who keeps updated information on your account balance then you might prefer a debit card. By using a debit card your account will be immediately deducted of the purchases made.

Also you need to check whether your credit or debit card will be internationally accepted. All establishments you wish to utilize may not accept your debit card. So you need to first ascertain which shops, hotel, travel agent etc will accept your debit card.

ATM- Before going on vacation, look for your ATMs, because if you frequently use other ATMS you would be charged with a cost/service fee. But if you use your own ATM the service will be free. You also need to check whether you can use your card internationally. When you have time prior to leaving for vacation take a listing of your bank's locations, especially the location where you are travelling to.

Travel cheques or cash-In many ways carrying travel cheques instead of cash frees you from carrying bulky cash. Also, carrying cash relieves you from visiting banks or exchange centres. The most important point is to consider which country you are travelling to. Travel cheques also protect you from theft or burglary. It's easily replaced by the issuing company upon notification of the theft, but cash is gone once its stolen.

Payment of Bills-This is a worrying aspect for one embarking on a vacation.
You need to check whether any bill becomes due for payment before you leave while you are on vacation. A lot of banks nowadays offer paying of bills, especially mobile bills through online banking. Please check with your bank for these facilities. Banks, which offer these are able to handle the payment in safe and secure manner. Upon your instruction they will debit your account or charge your credit card accordingly.

Do you have any suggestions for student banking?
Banks often offer easy to use accounts for students. These accounts are generally accessible through ATM and EFTPOS. The charges are low or there may not be any charge at all. Also the requirement for maintaining such an account is also less expensive, which means the ledger fees etc., should be much lower.
Talk to your bank for services and products, which are available to suit your needs. Also use internet banking because it is generally cheaper than using telephone. Its also available 24 hours, seven days a week. If your bank provides internet banking then you can set up regular transfers between accounts, such as payments to your credit card or student loan.

How is your privacy of banking ensured?
Banks usually ensure that access to your financial information is limited to employees only for specific business reasons and for utilizing this data. Employees are educated about the importance of maintaining confidentiality and customer privacy. Banks have formulated disciplinary steps to enforce their employee's responsibility to protect your personal information. Many security standards are maintained to protect customer information from being public. These are all according to industry practices.

Dear Doctor
I've heard that breast enlargement is done here in Bangladesh these days. I have very vague idea about the procedure. Can you tell me how it is done? What is implanted in the breasts to enlarge them? Does it leave a lasting scar afterwards? And finally does it have any side effects? Thank you.

Hello Faria,
Yes, breast enlargement surgery is done in Bangladesh now. It is a very common procedure done at our centre. Two kinds of incisions can be used; it can be placed on the folds under the breast or under the axilla so they cannot be seen. We use Silicon Implants, which are very safe and cause no reaction to the body and remain there life long. There is no side effect and even breast-feeding is possible. The procedure is done under general anesthesia. It is a very safe procedure and the results are very satisfying for the patients. If you want any more information please feel free to ask.
Thank you

Dear Doctor,
I am a 26 years old male. I am very unhappy about my nose. It is very thick at the tip and also at the base. In addition, there is a lot of fat on my cheeks and in combination with my nose it makes my face look very big and fat. Can anything be done?

Well for the reshaping of your nose you need a Rhinoplasty, which can be done very easily. A Tipplasty with Alar base reduction needs to be done. For the cheeks liposuction can be done to reduce the fat. General anesthesia is required in both procedures and can be done in one sitting .You will have a bandage on your nose for about 5 days and will need to use a tight compression on the cheeks. Usually we use a headband for the compression. There may be some bruising after the procedure but that usually goes away within a few days.

Dear Doctor,
My son is sixteen years old and is suffering from nasal obstruction for the last few years. We consulted with an ENT specialist who said he had a deviated septum and needed surgery to correct it, but it had to wait till he was 18 years old. We really would like to get it done sooner if possible as he is suffering a lot. Can you give us some advice?

This is a tricky situation. First we have to see where the deviation is. If its on the bony part, then you will certainly have to wait till he is eighteen but if its on the cartilaginous part then septoplasty can be done to relieve his symptoms. But this can only be decided after a proper examination. Usually we do not do nasal surgery before 18, as the bones keep growing till that age and proper assessment of bony deviation cannot be done.

Dear Doctor,
I am a 35 years old female. I used to be overweight but have now lost a lot of kilos and I am very happy with that. But lately, I have noticed that my upper eyelids look bulky. Can anything be done about this?

Fat does accumulate under the eyelids and makes the eyes look smaller. Blepharoplasty surgery is done to reshape the eyelids by removing the extra fat. The incision is placed on the crease line so it can't be detected, and the fat is removed from under the skin. Healing is very good as the blood supply is very rich in these areas. You can consult with a cosmetic surgeon who can examine you and give you an opinion.

Under a different sky


THE water started early Monday morning…drops from the ceiling of my bedroom. And then as I looked up, the water bubbles were forming everywhere under the plaster, and soon it was raining in my bedroom- tiny drops in some spots and gushing fountains in others. The water pipe broke directly above my apartment last Monday, and without any notice flooded my bedroom. I ran around finding buckets, pots and pans to collect the water while moving all my belonging to the drier rooms. After two and half hours of chaos it finally stopped as they shut down the entire building's water supply. The condo manager apologized, told me they will get a contractor and pay for all the repair costs but I have to wait till the ceiling dries and that could take up to one month.

I sat in my living room, which is literally where I live now. All my belongings everywhere, I tried to organize them in some manner but they are still just as scattered. The sofa which turns into a bed at night helps me close my eyes. I pretend like things are normal, I will have my place all sorted out.

And during these frazzled days I was turning the pages of the newspaper and read a story on the Vernon Street fire in Washington DC. The Vernon Street apartment buildings are mostly occupied by Bangladeshi immigrants. Living in a budgeted lifestyle in DC for a long time, there are chefs, waiters, and busboys of different restaurants, men and women holding odd jobs and raising their children amidst DC. DC's rent control law protects the tenants; a landlord cannot hike up the rent by more than a minimal amount every year, giving the tenants an affordable place to live. So the tenants of the Vernon Street buildings, who lived there most of their lives, got benefited by the cheap rent in a good area.

However the landlords had other plans. The apartments were to be torn down and redeveloped; a new condominium was to be built and sold for a much higher price. The landlords gave notices and the tenants pushed back. They didn't want to leave their home; they fought and brought the law into the picture. Money was offered to them, even a move to another building owned by the same owner, but the Bangladeshi tenants did not budge, they wanted to stay at Vernon Street. And after months of arguments back and forth, the day came- the day of the fire! The building burnt, no one was hurt but much of the homes were destroyed. The Bangladeshi immigrants eventually had to move away…they got compensated for their loss, but they lost the world they had built, their first homes in America.

I read the news, all the details, the tenants' tale and the landlord's stories and being bias, I of course, felt most for the Bangladeshi immigrants. Maybe they could have avoided this disaster by moving out when time came, when money and another place was offered to them but they didn't…their mistake… or their pride… whatever it was, it is too late to decide.

But to think I am worried about my home, which is still quite intact compared to these poor souls, made me feel a bit self conscious… just a day or two of repair in the walls and ceilings will bring my place back to normal. I won't have lost anything; my home will still be my home.

But why do I still feel devastated- like all was taken from me? It is because my comfort is interrupted. A lot worse could have happened, but it thankfully didn't. I still have my home; those Bangladeshi immigrants don't. They won't again perhaps live in this area, their kids who grew up running around in the DC streets, playing soccer in the nearby fields will have to move out to suburbs of Virginia or Maryland to afford a decent place but still I feel bad, for myself. I still keep staring out the window and inside my heart feels burnt and flooded- badly in need of a repair.



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