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Countdown to The Half-Blood Prince

Words 'n Pages, one of the most renowned bookstores in Dhaka, are releasing the sixth book of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince on the 16th of July, the international release date for the most anticipated book of the year. Words 'n Pages are bringing to Dhaka the original British Children's Edition of the book, published by Bloomsbury.
I met with Mr. Ziaul Haque, the Store Operations Manager of Words 'n Pages, and we chatted some time in their humble little Café Insomnia. He provided me with ample information about their plans for July 16th. They have an in-house advertising system that allows people who visit their store to be informed about their activities on releasing books or organizing special events. It's been a while since they started taking book orders for Half-Blood Prince. The news of their release first came out on the papers only on the 2nd of July (that's how I got to know about it). This is sure to gain great reaction from the readers, especially the English medium school-going children who have so enthusiastically kept up with the series till now.
Words n' Pages are bringing 1200 hard cover copies of Half-Blood Prince on the day of their release, of which about 500 copies are already pre-booked by readers.
By the end of this week (by the time you will be reading this) the sum might rise up to about 700 to 800 copies. So be sure to pre-book your copy as soon as possible. They will be bringing a total of 2000 copies. The book will cost you around 1500 to 1600 Tk. (inclusive of VAT). In my opinion it is a fair price. You may also look for teaser chapters by the 10th or 12th of July.
I would request Harry Potter lovers not to go for pirated copies. If you care enough for the quality and authenticity of Jo's writings, then you will certainly restrain yourself from buying pirated copies. Pirated copies or Indian prints, as you might call them, may also contain major flaws. Thus it's just not worth buying them. And if you still insist on doing that, then it will be a tedious wait. I went to New Market yesterday to ask them about the arrival of The Half-Blood Prince and they said that it would take a long time.
Words 'n Pages are doing an admirable job selling original books at reasonable prices. They are one of the few bookstores in Dhaka waging a war against piracy. They've held many book-fairs in numerous schools, including Sun Beams, ISD, Sir John Wilson and South Breeze. They are encouraging the new generation to stop buying pirated books. This is a bold step that deserves much praise.
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince will also be available at Etcetera.

By Knafice-Man

Liberation War Museum takes gigantic step to protect history

I was scared about going to the operation, but as a freedom fighter I should not be afraid of fighting. We have to make this operation successful. Contemplating this I went out for the operation. After a while the battle started. We trounced the Pak Army in the battle and freed Dewanganj. After the battle we started for another area with some food. Then we heard that the Pak Army suspended a 20-year-old boy upside down from their vehicle and made him roam four miles in this state. In the end the boy died from blood rushing to his head. We felt very sad hearing this. Narrator Md. Motahar Hossain, Dewanganj, Jamalpur. Collected by - Monir Hossain, Class- 5, Jilbangla Chinikol High School, Jamalpur.
Liberation War Museum has taken a great step to preserve the War History of Bangladesh. They are doing this by collecting the written accounts from the school students who wrote these after interviewing people who experienced the War. The name of the project is 'Encouraging the students about the history of the Liberation War, human rights, peace and harmony'. They encouraged the students to write about the experiences they can gather from the relatives or anyone of their acquaintance who experienced the War. The school curricula give the students a very brief account of the whole picture of the Liberation War. So this kind of step is an imperative to preserve the true history. This endeavour of the Museum is extolled by the intelligentsia of the country.

The inception and expansion of the programe
From 1997 the Liberation War Museum is carrying on an outreach programme to make the students conscious about the War History. From July of 2004 this programme is expanding. They have covered six districts in this programme to date. These are Panchagarh, Jamalpur, Sherpur, Gazipur, Tangail and Kurigram. In these six districts 42,543 students participated from 102 schools. This tremendous thing was successful due to the hard work and sincerity of the Museum. The organization 'Manusher Jonno' also assisted them in carrying out this enormous programme. 31,300 students from hundreds of schools and 35,950 viewers visited the exhibition of the write-ups in different districts. The next destination of this project is Moulavibazar and Habiganj.

Twelve hundred write-ups collected to date
Till now the Museum has collected around twelve hundred write-ups from the students who interviewed the freedom fighters and eyewitnesses. Most of the entries came from the Jilbangla School of Dewanganj. Everyday they are getting mails from the students of different corners of the country. The most intriguing part of this programme is the students take the interviews themselves from real persons and they talk about the real places. The Museum claims that 99.99 percent of the accounts are authentic.

Network teachers
117 teachers are included in this network and 85 of them are from Dhaka City. Network teachers are working a great deal to make this programme a success. In these teachers some are freedom fighters and one of them played a great role in finding Birprotik Taramon Bibi.

Approaching Madrasahs
The Museum has a plan to approach the Madrasahs or religious schools in future. Right now they cannot show visual programmes in Madrasahs and this is one reason for not approaching them. Though at present they are not included in the programme some Madrasahs have shown great enthusiasm in taking part in this project.
The Liberation War Museum has taken a gigantic step to collect the history piecemeal but at the same time it leads to the big plan of arranging the jigsaw puzzle of the War History by collecting small incidents. They are keeping the write-ups in archives and have a plan to publish those in future.

By Durdana Ghias

A century of Rangpur Kailush Ranjan High School

My trips to Rangpur are always very fun but this time it was especially interesting. My father and I boarded the bus on April 29, '05 at exactly 3:10pm and we started off for Rangpur.
It was fun travelling with my father. He is a stark contrast to me but I enjoyed the trip with him. We slept all the way and read comics. We stopped at "Food Village" to have a light meal. Usually we sit in the regular room where everyone sits but this time we decided to sit in the AC Deluxe which is reserved for special guests. My father had porota and meat and I had Berger. Then we began our journey after 20 minutes.
We reached at Rangpur between 10 and 11:00pm. We stayed at Babukha that night and had a luxurious time. I woke up soon in the morning and got ready for the party. The party was celebrating of 100 years of Kailush Ranjan High School, which had been my father's school. Mr Mozaffar Hossain, the convener of the festival committee, had arranged the party. My father was very excited about being there with him to see his school pass a century. I took my video camera and went to the great school. On the way my father told me how he used to walk a long way to reach his school. He explained to me the differences between then and now.
It was a huge school with two buildings and more students there than I have in my school. The arrangements were very lavish. The large gates were decorated with maypoles. I filmed all this, which was the effort of many people working together.
I witnessed the nostalgia that my father and others displayed towards their school. When my father entered the gate he met all his old friends who were with him in this school. He introduced me to them and they seemed to me very interesting. The trip down memory lane was fun. Then my father took to in the office and introduced me to the Headmaster, Mr. Haripodo Barman and also with other teachers, who were very generous with me. I took pictures of my father with them and also with many other people. They regaled me with stories of their school day pranks. I brought the camera mainly to take the picture of this long lost family. This family did a lot for this day and so went home with a commemorative school, a T-shirt, crest and a certificate from the festival committee.
The alumni went for a long rally in this hot summer only to show respect to their school. After the rally the chief guest of the party arrived with the special guest, Deputy Minister Alamgir Kabir. The chief guest was the Speaker of the Parliament, Barrister Mr Jamir Uddin Sircar.
I went to my father's showroom at 5:00pm after the show and from there I went to Tajhat, my mother's house. We were about to start our journey that day but we could not because we were tired and overstayed because a heavy storm started that night.
The next day we started our journey at 11:00am with one of my father's friend, named Dr Shamol, in one of my uncle's car. It is the most exciting memory I have, because the journey back was very eventful. After only 5 or 6-km our car stopped and we had to repair it at a small garage. But it did not work for long as the car stopped thrice during our journey and we were completely fed up. All the way I thought about my Dadu and Dadi whom I couldn't meet before leaving Rangpur and I am missing them very much.
After a continuous journey of 9 hours we finally reached our destination. At night I thought about the hard life my father had faced during his youth. I believe that if my father had received more academic support he would have shone in the world. These sweet feelings came to my heart from my trip to Rangpur.

By Md. Rahber-E-Alam (Raafa)

Drugs are BAD

It is really easy to say that "I'll never ever try any drugs in my life". What is hard is sticking to that decision. As kids gradually become teenagers they are exposed to a new world where they feel entitled to try out new things. They have a curiosity towards things they have never tried before. So they decide to just "try" things out to see what it feels like, promising to never touch it again even though they know that is how it all starts. People try out softer drugs and then when they find how they like it they tend to move on to harder drugs.
Here are some drugs that people tend to use. They start off "just trying" and they sometimes find that they like it. Drugs can make you feel good and you can forget all your troubles. There comes a point where people use a certain drug so much that they get addicted and they keep using it not because they enjoy it but because their body starts failing without it.

Marijuana is usually smoked. It is the most common drug that teenagers usually start with. It gives you a feeling of well being and you feel very pleasant and happy. Long term use of marijuana leads to reduced ability to perform tasks which need concentration, there is short term memory loss and they have impairments in learning new things and retaining knowledge. Basically you're going to do very badly in school.

Using cocaine makes you feel like you have a lot of energy. New cocaine users try them to increase the lever of productivity. You can fee like you can go on longer in strenuous physical activities. Cocaine is a very addictive drug. Using too much cocaine can lead to high blood pressure and heart rate. There is a higher chance of getting heart attacks. People tend to suffer seizures, insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, irritability and a rise in body temperature. People can also die from overdose. It really doesn't seem that great does it?

Heroin can be inhaled or injected. Heroin gives you the feeling of euphoria. You feel nothing is wrong with the world. You can feel no sadness. Anyone would want to feel like that right? Well… long term use of heroin leads to slurred speech, impaired vision at night, dry itchy skin and skin infections. Sharing needle also leads to a higher risk of HIV.

LSD is a hallucinogen taken mostly in liquid form. It makes you hallucinate and see and hear things that aren't really there. Many people have had heart attacks from horrific things that they see. There is an increase in body temperature and blood pressure, users start to lose their appetite, they lack sleep and experience tremors, there are also recurring hallucinations. That seems scary more than anything else…I don't know why people would want to try it in the first place.

Drinking too much can lead to alcoholism. Alcoholics can experience dizziness, nausea, vomiting, hangovers, slurred speech, disturbed sleep, driving skills are impaired, violent behavior, breathing problems and even death from too much drinking. So if you drink so much life doesn't seem that great…so why do it?

Inhalants include things like glue, nail polish remover, petrol…things like that. Inhalants can cause headaches, muscle weakness, stomach pain, mood swings and violent behavior, nausea, nose bleeds, lack of coordination, tiredness, loss of appetite. Long term use can lead to hepatitis, or peripheral neuropathy

I could go on and go with the list of drugs that teenagers come across and none of them are really good for you. I don't think there is a lack of awareness amongst teenagers about these drugs. Even knowing what harm it can cause, teenagers still try drugs just to see what it feels like. There is nothing that can really be done about it everyone knows…drugs are bad.

By Preeti


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