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     Volume 4 Issue 43 | April 22, 2005 |

   Cover Story
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I would like to thank the writer C.R. Raiyan for the article titled "Mess". It was such a realistic, heart-rending and touching article. The description of the incident was so vivid that I never felt that it was a fiction piece. Today, we, the teenagers (especially those of us in the urban areas), are being exposed to sex by means of the Internet, satellite technology, etc. Most of us are, however, immature and usually get too zealous about this unsolicited matter. The result is awful. Therefore, I think urban High Schools (especially the English-Medium Schools) should begin 'Education on Sexual Health and Safe Sex', of course after getting permission from the parents. In fact, these are being taught in high schools of many cities, including Kuala Lumpur. This will not only prevent such a "mess," but will also reduce the spread of the deadly HIV-AIDS. I would like to request the writer to keep it up and thank SWM for printing such a practical article. Well done!

A Reader On E-mail

On "HIV Alert"
As a regular reader of SWM, I appreciate the effort put in to turn out an interesting and highly readable magazine every week. However, I was shocked by the letter "HIV Alert!" by "An old reader and well-wisher" in the April 8 issue. It is alarmist and irresponsible! It would be interesting to know the source of this story; it appears altogether too contrived to be credible. There are several ways in which HIV infection can be spread but doing it intentionally through planting syringes in cinema hall seats is absurd and does great injustice to persons who are HIV positive. What worries me deeply is that this kind of alarmist, unsubstantiated story contributes to the existing prejudice, stigma and isolation suffered by people who are HIV positive and aggravates the general ignorance about this disease. I am disappointed that SWM should publish such a letter without verifying the truth behind it. HIV and AIDS pose a real threat to society and it would be good to see informed and responsible journalism on the subject.

Ruby Ghuznavi

On "The Yellow Line of Fear"
Nadia Kabir Barb once again did a great job in her article "The Yellow Line Of Fear". The mass people of Bangladesh always consider the developed countries of the world to be some sort of promised land, where there is no pain, distress, despair and only happiness reigns. As the famous adage goes "the grass is always greener on the other side." The affluent countries beckon people from LDCs to make their economy more successful. By contrast, when aspiring people land on the so-called dreamland, their dreams and preconceived notions are ripped into shreds. They find themselves to be the poor victims of racism, Islamophobia and prejudice. No single species of animal is known to attack its own kind with the glowing exception of the Homo Sapien race. Human beings will kill one another and construct their road to perdition until they are perished altogether from this blue planet.

Professional Stranger

May the Pope Rest in Peace
We are deeply mournful and grieved by the death of Pope John Paul II, who helped bring a message of peace to the world. He was the first non-Italian Pontiff in the last 450 years -- he was the first Polish Pope and spiritual leader. Undoubtedly, Pope John Paul II was a remarkable person -- he touched the hearts of many people. He helped the world face problems of today with his kind personality and good heart. He had attempted to build our human civilisation on love, with sympathy to those who are in need. The diplomatic representation of the Holy See extends to over 120 countries including Bangladesh. Pope John Paul II once visited Bangladesh, which further endeared him to our people. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Md. Toufiqur Rahman Kishoreganj

Request for Islamic Page
I agree with the author who wrote the letter titled "On Islamic Page" published in the April 8 issue of SWM. Being a regular reader, I always feel that Star Weekend Magazine should keep us up-to-date about what is happening in the Muslim world, how their outlook is being changed rapidly and why some highly educated westerners are turning their attention to Islam as a code of life. After 9/11, not only are Muslims world-wide being stereotyped as terrorists, certain non-Muslims are also trying to define to the world what real Islam is even though they do not know and do not have the facts. Fortunately the interested people who do not rely on the prejudiced western media find the real sense of Islam. They have found the truth by studying The Holy Quran, Hadiths and other Modern Scientific Explanations by Muslim scholars around the globe. I believe that if SWM attempts to open a new page on Islam like some other English magazines it will be a great source of knowledge and encouragement for us to know about Islam in the global perspective. There are plenty of websites which give information and cover debates concerning much talked about modern issues which may help to remove peoples' stereotypes and ignorance. So, we hope very soon we will see a resourceful, well-organised page on Islam introduced in the Star Weekend Magazine. We are eagerly waiting for it.

Md Arif Sadeq University of Dhaka

Submission Guideline:
Letters to the Editor, Dhaka Diary and Write to Mita, with the writer's name and address, should be within 200 words. All articles should be within 1,200 words. A cover letter is not necessary, but every write-up should include the writer's name, phone number and email address (if any). While SWM welcomes unsolicited articles and photographs, it cannot accept the responsibility of their loss or damage. SWM does not return unsolicited articles and photos. Response time for unsolicited write-ups range from three weeks to two months. All articles submitted are subject to editing for reasons of space and clarity.
All materials should be sent to: Star Weekend Magazine, 19 Karwan Bazar, Dhaka-1215, Fax: 880-2-8125155 or emailed to: <starweekendmag@gmail.com>
It is recommended that those submitting work for the first time to the SWM take a look at the sample copy beforehand. Our website is: http://www.thedailystar.net/magazine

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