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     Volume 6 Issue 4 | February 2, 2007 |

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   Dhaka Diary
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Dhaka Diary

Airport Crisis
I recently went to Dhaka for a short vacation after almost five years. After flying around 18 hours, my wife, my 20-month-old daughter and I were naturally tired and exhausted. The foreign passport/immigration counter was crammed with Bangladeshi passport holders and foreign passport holders had to wait for over an hour to get through. At the arrival lounge at Zia International Airport (ZIA), there was no baby-changing facility in the washroom. When I asked an airport personnel where I could get this facility, he acted as if he had never heard of such a thing before. To my utter anger and dismay, he was more interested to know if I had anything taxable to declare that could be cleared without paying taxes! My baby's diaper was drenched and I couldn't find a toilet where such a basic hygiene necessity was available. Not to mention the total mess and foul odour in the washrooms. I hope the concerned authorities will look into the matter and arrange to have baby-changing facilities in both the arrival and departure lounge washrooms of the airport.


Toronto, Ontario

Patriotism in children
Whenever I meet a small child I always try to instil a feeling of patriotism in him or her, and maybe contribute something to my country in the process. But surprisingly, every time I try to do this, I realise the feeling is already there, though the child may not even be aware of it. Once a three-year-old child sang Hyder Husyn's “Tirish bochhor por” to me: "Ki dekhar kotha ki dekchi....... Tirish boshor poreo ami shadhinotatake kujchi". I was surprised at the devotion in the child's voice, as if he understood every word, though I was sure he couldn't realise the depth of it. Suddenly he made me feel like a fool. He said, "This song is about my country, your country." We should never think that a child does not understand emotions. Sometimes they understand things more than we do. And sometimes they instil patriotic feelings inside us as well.


Teacher, Loreeto School

A traffic jam story
I am basically a very nervous person and my anxiety crosses the limit especially when I am on the street. Stories of muggers blocking your way or stopping your CNG come to my mind, which makes it very difficult for me to go to work and back home at the end of the day. The other day, I witnessed something very pathetic. At the Kakoli and Banani intersection there was a big jam as always, where people and vehicles were all trying to get ahead. That was when I heard an ambulance screeching continuously, trying to get past the jam. There was a group of people huddled inside the ambulance, where one lady was crying and a younger man was looking worried and deathly pale. Though I could not see the patient, I could clearly understand that he or she was probably going through a life and death situation. However, the ambulance could not move because of the cars in front of it and there was simply nothing to do but wait. That was when a crazy idea came to my mind. Maybe ambulances should be built with mechanical wings, or maybe special highways should be built especially for emergencies in the country. Traffic jams have reached a dire level and the caretaker government needs to take a serious look at it.

Sabrina Khan


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