Volume 2 Issue 93| November 06, 2010 |


   Cover Story
   Celebrating Life
   Journey Through    Bangladesh
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Celebrating Life

Winning and exhibited photographers from 2008 and 2009 and winning lyricists from 2009 with Mahfuz Anam, Jim McCabe, Abdullah Abu Sayeed and Runa Laila

Celebrating Womanhood Music
CD and Photo-book Launch

Hasan Ameen Salahuddin

Celebrating Life is a composite competition, inviting films, photographs and lyrics entries that showcase various aspects of life in Bangladesh. Organized jointly by The Daily Star and Standard Chartered, this initiative is our attempt to provide participants with a platform for creative expression, on a scale unprecedented in the local media scene.

The competition is divided into three categories: film, photographs and lyrics. Celebrating Life will feature 36 winners; 14 in the film category, 12 in the photography category and 10 for lyrics.

Biman Chandra Biswas and Bijon Mistry Singing at the ceremony
Elita Karim and Nirjhor Chowdhury performing at the ceremony

Abdullah Abu Sayeed
Professor Abdulaah Abu Sayeed, the founder of Bishwa Shahitto Kendro and eminent educationist spoke at the event: “I do not believe that true talent emerges or is efficiently hunted through any type of contests or competitions. An aspiring example to this is that of our beloved Runa Laila, who had discovered herself on her own, and not through any such gathering of competitors. One has to thrive within oneself, to challenge themselves to attain their true potentials, and to nurture their thirst of perfecting what they do. Without this urge, they will not be able to create what would be there own masterpiece. But, I still do appreciate such contests, as the ones with aspiring talents do emerge from the crowds. Bangladesh being a beautiful country, with flowing rivers, vast open fields of green and open skies has always been home to poets, lyricists and singers. Who knows, maybe through these contests another Rabindranath, Atul Prashad, D.L. Ray, or Rajnikanta may come into existence.”

Runa Laila
Singer Runa Laila said: “This is the first time that I have attended such an event where I was chosen to launch a music album featuring one of my own songs. This is a very patronizing initiative for uprising talents in these fields, and I thank Standard Chartered Bank and the Daily Star for taking up the responsibility. A platform is definitely needed for people to came and prove themselves. And thus, this has been a great opportunity for them to prove themselves. I hope that this initiative is continued well into the future. I have always been in a good relationship with The Daily Star, and will be in this position to stay with them in providing my support always.”


Jim McCabe
CEO of the Standard Chartered Bank, Jim McCabe expressed: “The Daily Star has been a dear companion to us for a long time throughout this journey. And we are very proud to have them as our partner for this project. A multitude of strong talented photographers, lyricists and film makers are emerging as a result of this project. Bangladesh has always been rich in its culture, and I am sure that projects such as these will provide a solid platform for those who have the ability to portray such beauty through their works to take a chance to add their names to the lists of the greats in the world. This is a huge project that Standard Chartered Bank, among many others, have taken up with The Daily Star and hope to continue with it in the future.”

Winners and participants of the contest were very eager to know when the Celebrating Womanhood Music for Celebrating Life Volume 2 CD and Bangladesh My Love Photo-book would be launched. An apology is in order, and we humbly do apologize for the delay. Being swamped with work relating to this huge opportunity had driven us to unavoidably delay the total event in order to have perfected every logistical aspect. And thus, everyone has appreciated and praised the effort put towards and being able to conclude such a successful event.

The book Bangladesh My Love - contains all the winning and exhibited entries from 2008 and 2009, and we have decided to continue publishing such a book portraying winners and exhibitions once every year. The CD Celebrating Womanhood Music for Celebrating Life Volume 2 contains all the 10 winning lyrics from the competition from 2009. The tracks in order, as they appear on the CD are: Thy Name-Mother lyrics by Charu Modan sung by: Runa Laila, Ami Tor Dushtu Meye lyrics by Shormin Akhter sung by: Ferdous Ara, O Chaad lyrics by Ashanuzzaman sung by: Fahmida Nabi, Kaata lyrics by Saiyed Toufiq Juhuri sung by: Shakila Zafar, Shopnoloker Kalpotaru Hotey lyrics by Pijush Kanto Borua sung by: Subir Nandi, Maa-er Jonno Bhalobasha lyrics by Atunu Tiash sung by: Krishnokali, Amay Shopoth Porao Maa lyrics by Dulal Biswas sung by: Biman Chandra Biswas and Bijon Mistry, Maa-er Aachol lyrics by Md. Jahangir Alam sung by: Tanvir Alam Sajib, Mathar Porer Akashta Jaak lyrics by Chanokko Baro-e sung by: Elita Karim and Nirjhor Choudhury, Maa-er Kaache Khola Chithi lyrics by Faysal Alam sung by: Nipo Rose, and O Chaad lyrics by Ashanuzzaman sung by: Kumar Biswajit and Fahmida Nabi.

We thank Standard Chartered and are honored to have worked beside them to have accomplished such a feat. It would not have been possible to launch the CD and Book with such grace and success if their enormous support was not available. Special thanks goes to CEO Jim McCabe and Head of Corporate Affairs Bitopi Das for there immense support.

The obvious notes of thanks go to the participants and winners of the contest without whom all of this would not be possible or hold any meaning. The judges are included, and we are grateful for their effort put into choosing the best outcomes as the results. Without them, this competition would not be complete. They had taken the initiative to make this project their own, and thus have been successful in bringing out the most deserving participants, and then crowing them the winners.

The media partners, Zaheen Music, Channel I, Shaptahik 2000, abc Radio, Urmi Group and Dots & Marks words are not enough to express our gratitude. Without their knowledge and sincere efforts, the songs would not have been as perfect as they are. And of course, the songs would not be if it were not for all the singers and the music directors: Foad Nasser Babu, Subir Nandi, Bappa Majumder, Nakib Khan, Orko, Emon, Ridoyan Choudhury Pancham, Enamul karim Nirjhor, Nirjhor Choudhury, and Fahmida Nabi.

The event was carried out in a very friendly, informal and home like environment with everyone enjoying the company of each other as the special guests, Editor and Publisher of the Daily Star Mahfuz Anam, CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Jim McCabe, Professor Abdullah Abu Sayeed, and renowned singer Runa Laila, were very interactive with the audience keeping the mood very light and enjoyable with a few laughs every now and then. The success of the event lies in these presentations as well.

And finally, it wouldn't have been complete if Runa Laila was not there. To begin with, she has assisted us diligently since the very beginning. She has provided her support without relents throughout the project. We thoroughly appreciate the fact that a celebrity of her caliber kept an open mind about working in a group album for the first time to collaborate with us.





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