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Bands to watch out for

Looking quite local for a group called Germantown

Germantown (GT) includes the skinny Nabil (bass), a dude who's actually called Samwan (guitar), the ambitious Labib (drums), the gorgeous geek Mouri (vocals), weirdly-named Hythum (guitar) and a supposedly-normal Rafsan (vocals). In only 2 years, the shaky group of friends who did music for fun had evolved into an entertaining underground band covering classic and contemporary rock numbers. Heavily influenced by Def Leppard, Dire Straits, Bryan Adams, Oasis, Eagles, Scorpions, U2, Porcupine Tree, Coldplay, Artcell, Dream Theatre; GT will be coming out with its original in the compilation, Audhistaan soon.

Deafened is known to its crowd for its Korn covers. Comprising of the brothers Reehan (vocal) and Zeeshan (bass), the lanky Orin (guitar) and Labib (drums), Deafened has performed at over 20 concerts in 3 years since its birth. The band is full of energy, recalling Reehan rolling on the stage, Zeeshan's flamboyant stage-acts, Orin hitting the others with his guitar and Labib playing drums standing during their memorable performances. Hardcore bands like Pantera, Lamb of God, Korn, Disturbed, Tool, APC inspire these youngsters. They aspire to be like their idols, Jonathan Davis, Dimebag Darrell, Danny Carey, Ryan Martinie. Deafened is currently inactive and scrubbed all its activities due to exams, as soon as they are done they will resume their graft.

If you're part of an underground band who has performed at concerts and would like your band to be covered, please send in a demo song and your band profile atrhythmofblues@gmail.com

By Sabhanaz Rashid Diya

BDC World Schools National Debating Camp, 2007

Eight schools, 21 participants- only five are meant to make it to an arena which will give them the opportunity to represent Bangladesh on an international stage. Only five will make it to Seoul, South Korea, where they will unite themselves under one flag, and compete for victory, in the World Schools Debating Camp.

The challenging task of hand-picking 'the talented five' was as usual brought upon the 'Bangladesh Debating Council' (BDC) and this year, the institution hosting the grand event by East West University! The event was held within the premises of the university, under the coordination of the EWUDC (East West University Debating Club), on the 30th and 31st of March. The following are the names of all the students who participated, representing their respective schools. International School Dhaka(ISD)-Shabab Mirza, Shafqat Manir, Vrijen Attawar; Mastermind- Aniqa Moinuddin, Nazmus Saadat, Nabila Idris, Farhana Islam Muna, Kashpee Wahid, Sidrat Zabeen; Manarat- Sohara Mehroze, Sumaiya Anjum Kashfi, Mehrab Bin Bakhtiyar, Mehdi Bin Samad; Bangladesh International Tutorial (BIT)- Nabil Bin Murtuza, Farah Nasreen Chowdhury, Faiza Rahman; The Red Brick School (TRBS)- Al Akib Badrudduja; Notre Dame College (NDC)- Mir Nakibul Islam; European standard School (ESS)- Mahnaz Reza; Aga Khan School (AKS)- Maimun Mustafa; Sunnydale- Abul Fazal.

Prior to this two day event, participants had been handed out assignments which they would need to submit on the 30th march 2007, since 20% of their grading depended on this assignment. At this level, three participants had already been disqualified because they had failed to submit their assigned work. The first day of the event, was commenced with a brief debating workshop, at 10 am, in the auditorium of the university. The workshop was followed by acquainting the participants with foreign English accents, style and extempore of debate through debating videos of previous world debating camps. This was again followed by another workshop and live debate presented by the BDC, till it was lunch time. The EWU cafeteria catered all those present with delicious khichuri, and once everyone was done stuffing themselves, the event continued with Selection Phases I and II, in which participants were graded according to how they judged the live debate presented by the BDC. Once, all this huge ordeal of marking and grading by the adjudicators, was done for the day, EWU once again, refreshed everyone with a cultural event that hosted talented musicians of the country.

Day II- starting with a photo session that included all 18 participants, adjudicators of the BDC, President and GS of EWUDC and all those in the Program Management Committee. Selection Phase- III began at 10 am in which, participants were individually tested, completely separate from the other participants. While each participant fought to grab marks from the adjudicators, the others played games and danced to different tunes. In fact, outstandingly talented, Shaba Mirza, from ISD, was seen to shake all his tensions away with Columbian pop singer, Shakira's, hit single- Hips Don't Lie! But fun time was soon over as Selection Phase- IV demanded written examinations, which were the most crucial part of the entire selection process. Once, the exam was over, participants had lunch while the adjudicators checked the answer scripts. 01:45 pm came with bang where 18, was cut down to 12, based on the average marks scored in all the selection phases in the two days, yet. The grand finale came when participants were divided in 4 grouos of 3, and the first real debate took place in two days! The motion for the Upper House was, 'This House Believes in Pacifism', and that of the lower house was, 'This House Would Use Force to Ensure Peace'. This round gave us those ten who will be further trained for the next one month, and out of whom, five will carry the national pride to Seoul.

The closing ceremony of the two day event, was adorned with a prize giving ceremony and a grand buffet dinner in which, Mr. Jalaluddin Ahmed, President Board of Directors, EWU, was present. Even though, the final selection has not been made yet, irrespective of which five make it all the way to Seoul, the nation is proud of its youth, and wishes them a hearty goodluck!

By Sajeda Tamanna Hussain

Campus news
Literature: not for the faint of heart

When we hear the word 'violence' in connection with literature, it's not unusual to think of war novels or stories of social dramas. How often do we associate it with the violence involved in the very process of creating text? A seminar at the Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB), the first of a series of lectures on literature, gave the attendees plenty of food for thought.

Dr Radha Chakravarty, Professor of English at the Gargi College, Delhi University, and recipient of the Dr Radhakrishnan Memorial Award 2006 for her anthology 'Crossings' which features translations of short stories from Bangladesh and West Bengal, presented her keynote paper "The Vocabulary of Violence: Translation across Borders" at this seminar. She quoted from the stories in Crossings to illustrate the aesthetics of depicting violence in literature, such as the image of the boy vomiting blood in one story, or the idea of a brain transplant leading to a loss of identity in another. She also discussed problems faced by translators. Who does the translated text belong to: the original author, or the translator...or the reader who makes meanings from it? According to Dr Chakravarty, it is the joint property of all three parties. Finally, she spoke about the 'violence of translation' - the necessary distortion of a text as it shifts from one language to another, and the dilemmas associated with the process. Is it more apt to stick to one language, as recommended by language purists, or can transliteration be allowed? If so, to what extent?

The lecture was followed by a question-and-answer round, in which the audience members got to participate. Among the invited guests at the event were poet Syed Shamsul Haq, writer, columnist Hasnat Abdul Hye, Mohiuddin Ahmed from the University Press, writers, translaters, IUB vice chancellor Professor Bazlul Mobin Chowdhury, the Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr Omar Rahman, and other faculty members from the IUB Language Centre. The event was organised by Mr Shaiful Islam, faculty member, IUB Language Centre.

By Sabrina F Ahmad

Young Explorers' Reunion

In 2004, four adventurous youngsters embarked on a trek from Teknaf to Cox's Bazar, aiming to explore the beautiful locations of our country and experience some excitement and adventure in the process. This led to the creation of the Young Explorer's Society (YES), which celebrated its third birthday by organising a reunion at the Business Faculty Auditorium in Dhaka University on 30th March.

All those who participated in the trips organised by YES were invited to the reunion, and the programme kicked off with each and every member of the audience sharing their memories with the rest of the crowd. People of all ages, including two very small kids, spoke about their different experiences, where all of them highlighted on how wonderful it was to start their travels with a large group of strangers and end it with so many friends. A lengthy yet interesting video was then shown of their trips to Bandorbon, Rangamati, St Martin, Shundorbon, Shonadia and various other places. The beautiful scenes of long, winding rivers, walks through green fields, gorgeous sunsets as well as the fun everyone had together while barbecuing, dancing and addafying really made me wish I had been a part of their expeditions! After the video, a few members of YES addressed the crowd. Zaki Ameen (Auntu), the brains behind the creation of YES, spoke about their first trip from Teknaf to Cox's Bazar, which he organised when he was only 16.

“My idea was just to include a lot of people in fun trips, and since then YES had organised 14 to 15 such adventures in only four years,” elaborated Auntu. Another speaker also spoke about their journey to Shonadia with 150 participants! But the travelers didn't just aimlessly wander around, they rallied in Cox's Bazar for environmental awareness, organised cultural programmes and an art competition between children from a hospital and participated in numerous other activities. Limana Solaima, who also participated in the first trip of YES, told us amusing anecdotes about their shorter trips to Sherpur, Narayanganj, Chadpur, Birishiri etc. and displayed pictures of the interesting and beautiful places they visited, including the small stall in Sylhet famous for its delicious five layered tea!

Lastly, the members of YES came together in a fun, informal jamming session and pretty much gave everyone a taste of the adda that usually takes place on their tours. The Youth Explorer's Society invites every young explorer to participate in their journeys all over Bangladesh, since according to the members “YES matir tane shrishti”. It is also arranging their first overseas trip to Darjeeling, and can be contacted at yes.adv@gmail.com and yes-bd@yahoogroups.com. YES went from leaving on journeys with four people to organising excursions with over 200 people (as was the case in Sundarban) in only 3 years. In a time when most of us are prone to stare at the TV and play computer games all the time, it is a truly praiseworthy venture and guarantees to give you an unforgettable adventure!

By Shuprova Tasneem


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