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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Monday, January 21, 2013
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'(Un)welcome to Shahjalal Int'l Airport!'

Photo: AFP

The environment at the airport is usually the first indication of what to expect in a country. Enough has already been written in your columns about Shahjalal Int'l Airport -- the dirty atmosphere, inordinate delays, surly staff, chaotic transport, lost luggage, etc., to put it near the bottom of the “welcome” chart for any traveller.

Last Monday, my wife and I went to receive our daughter-in-law and 7-month-old grand-daughter who arrived at 8 pm after a long flight from Kenya. Five (5) flights arrived simultaneously and the scenes of mayhem inside can best be left to the imagination. We had glimpses of a frail mother trying to cope, with her restive child, hand baggage, purse, etc., while complying with the incessant demands of Immigration. Finally, I approached the “keeper at the gate” to allow me to relieve her of the child at least. I was brusquely dismissed and rudely told to return to the visitors' enclosure. Arrival of unaccompanied women with infants/children is a common sight at all airports, but Dhaka treats them as "terrorist threats." Is having a little supervised corner at Shahjalal, to relieve harassed women of their children, more complicated than the Padma bridge and an affront to women's rights? Oh! Yes!, during the 90 minutes I waited outside, I had a grandstand view of many people just strolling in and out of the 'sanctified' inner sanctum. My mistake was to ask for permission!!

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Very sad indeed, I wonder with dismay when this nation shall become civilised if at all as I fail to see any light at the end of the tunnel, while the street urchins continue to rule the nation, what else can be expected of such people at the helm of affairs.

: Saleh Mohammad Ayub

Will this country ever learn? Because the ladies in power do not travel the way regular people do. Oh, did I mention, they do not care about people, period!

: Sabrina Rahman

Comments

  • Miller
    Monday, January 21, 2013 02:18 PM GMT+06:00 (64 weeks ago)

    Sad, indeed, it is. I have travelled and lived in some countries, in South Asia, East Asia and Europe. And the all time problem I faced is with my Bangladeshi passport. I don't just understand how the Bangladeshi government is working. The Bangladeshi living and working abroad contribute to the country very largely through their hard works. Can't the government at least provide them with standard passports? Even the machine readable passport gives problems. The environment in Dhaka airport is another hell. Without attempting to save the corrupted ministers and politicians, the government should work hard honestly on the development of the country. Dhaka is the capital city and Chittagong is the 2nd largest city, also the country's business city, but the condition of both is really not livable cities. Living in my village is so much better than the cities. Whenever I go to Chittagong I feel like I am going to the most undeveloped and polluted city in Bangladesh. Some of the first people in the country the arrivals meet are the immigration officers at the airports, but they are so impolite and rude. Is this so-called the rich multi-cultures of Bangladesh. When I arrived and was waiting in the queue, the immigrations officers were shouting at each others, and they were arguing badly with some arrivals. This is what they show to the people who come to Bangladesh. This is how they welcome the visitors. With all these, sometimes, i just feel very unfortunate to be a national of such a country.


 

 


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