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     Volume 1 Issue 11 | December 9, 2006 |


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Behind the Scene

From Sylhet
An exceptional healer -Dr. Zakaria Hossain
Iqbal Siddiquee

DR. Zakaria Hossain, born in a typical village of Bangladesh, began his career as a physician but soon afterwards established himself as a successful investor, too. He has set up a unique resort at the outskirts of the Sylhet city. Criticism and obstructions from close relatives and friends could not stop him from going ahead with the desired goal.

He had already proved his tenacity in pursuing his dream to fruition. Zakaria has got recognition from both the government and some social organisations for his successful venture.

Recently, Bangladesh Parjaton Corporation (BPC) had entrusted his Zastat Holiday Resort to organize the regional porogramme for observing the National Tourism Week The State Minister for Tourism attended it as the chief guest.

“I had a dream to build up a tourist recreational centre of international standard in Sylhet city which lacked tourism and modern recreational facilities”, says Dr. Zakartia, chief of the Sylhet Bibhagio Parjatan Unnayan Forum. “The tiny torch of my dreamy desire grew into a steady flame and burst into a lightening in 1996 in the shape of a recreation and holiday resort”, he adds. That is what it is today the Zastat Holiday Resort at a calm and quiet village called Doloipara in Khadimnagar beside the Sylhet-Tamabil Highway.

A simple but tenacious person in his fifties, Zakaria Hossain narrates the background of how he built the Resort. “I drew up a master plan divided in 3 phases in consultation with the local distinguished engineers and architects. Of course, I had a picture of the whole thing in my mind that grew over the years of my travel across the country as well as global zone. Allah is ever-Merciful. The entire work of the first phase of my long cherished programme is on the way to completion in accordance with the master plan. Thanks to the Almighty that my dream came into reality and the Resort was inaugurated successfully on 29 April of 2004”.

A project like this initiated and completed on a private level is first of its kind in Sylhet. Many local people are of opinion that it should be treated as a milestone in the field of tourism and recreational facilities in the Sylhet region which has a background of historical, religious and social importance from the tourism perspective.

Dr. Zakaria Hossain, a paediatrician by profession but a visionary in temperament, has tried to create a modern and comfortable resort yet keep up the natural character of the site, an area of 15 acres having huge greenery on the hillocks. His aim had been to provide as natural and spontaneous an environment as possible to the children and others who would come here for relaxation.

Born in a well-to-do Muslim family at village Porgana of Khadimpara union of Sylhet Sadar upazila, Dr. Zakaria was a meritorious student in school and college and won a number of prizes in debate competitions. He did his MBBS from Sylhet Medical College in 1973 and took some diplomas in paediatrics from the IPGMR, Dhaka, Dublin University, Ireland, Vienna, Austria and from England.

He started his career as a medical Officer in the Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College in 1974. After working at places like Chittagong Medical College and the IPGMR, he left the country for Saudi Arabia in 1978 to serve in the King Fahd Hospital. In 1990 Zakaria left the position of Senior Registrar of the paediatrics department of King Fahd Hospital and came back to Bangladesh with a plan to do something significant in Sylhet. He first started Sylhet Shishu Clinic which has by now turned into Sylhet Shishu Clinic and General Hospital. He regularly attends patients in the afternoon and at night at this hospital. He is the founder Managing Director & Consultant (Child and pediatrics) there.

Dr. Zakaria has travelled in England, Austria, Singapore, Canada, Ireland, Abu Dhabi, India and Pakistan. He started the work for his dream project in 1995 at a remote area called Doloipara. Many of his near ones and well wishers in fact discouraged him at that time since the location was very backward and detached from the surrounding advanced localities. There wasn't even a good road to link it to the adjoining places. But Zakaria was determined to fulfill his project. The foundation stone of the Resort was laid in 2001 and formal inauguration took place in 2004 by the then Finance Minister, M Saifur Rahman.

The doctor gratefully acknowledges the kind support of Mr. Shamsul Haque Chowdhury, the General Manager of Nandan mega shop, Dhaka, and the tireless efforts and hard work of Squadron Leader (Retired) AAM Shoyeb, the first General Manager of the project for making the first phase of this ambitious project a success.
At the initial stage of the resort, Zakaria planted different kinds of trees. Now the hillocks have huge trees of a total of 463 species including many fruit trees.
An honest and simple man, Dr. Zakaria believes that nature has an equally sigficant role to play as medicine in healing the patients. Dr. Zakaria Hossain, lives with his wife, Sirajunnesa and their two daughters and a son in Sylhet. Inspired by her father, daughter Tania Hossain is serving as a medical officer in the Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College Hospital while the other daughter, Tanzia Hossain and the son, Arshad Hossain (Tuhin) are students of Public Administration (Honours) and BBA respectively.



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