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since April 1998




BICN 3 - 16 Feb 2000

Volume 3 Number 11


+Commercial Advertisements: 

Attention Expats & Bangladeshis  Plan for a Sound Financial Future Now 

Contemporary Bengali Instruction 

Update on the Team  Semi-Bye Harold, Hello Jodie

+Community Announcements 

An Evening with the S T A R S  Acid Survivorīs Foundation Benefit 

"We Are Saving Lives"  ICDDR,B Annual Hospital Endowment Fund Ball 

Washington DC  General Meeting & Cultural Show, American Association of Bangladeshi Engineers and Architects 

Asian Study Group  Mahasthangarh Trip, Monday Group

+Books from Mr Kashem 

Development As Freedom by Amartya Sen 

The Book of Tea 

The Janhangirnama  Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India

+Letters To The Editor From All Over 

+Early February Events 

+A Little Later On 

+Employment Opportunity 

+New Ongoing And Regular Events 

Dance Instruction at Srishti Cultural Centre

 BICN is published first & third Wednesdays September to May from Dhaka Bangladesh by Sara Bennett. To SUBSCRIBE, email  .

Submission deadline for next issue of BICN: Tue 15 Feb 2000. Email items to  . Providing your items in BICN format is ***greatly*** appreciated (especially calendar items). Community announcements & personal classified ads always FREE. 


** Attention Expats & Bangladeshis  Plan for a Sound Financial Future Now **

Your time abroad represents the perfect opportunity to

  1. Utilize your tax status 
  2. Maximize your returns on your savings & investments 
  3. Plan for a sound financial future

Sovereign is an international financial consultancy firm represented in Bangladesh by Peter Doran, senior consultant and portfolio manager based in Bangkok. He will be visiting Dhaka the first week of March, and he can meet privately with you to provide free confidential advice on such matters as:

  • Pension planning 
  • Education fee planning 
  • Multicurrency mortgages 
  • Regular contribution saving plans 
  • Lump sum investments 
  • Offshore banking 
  • Portfolio management 
  • Financial planning 
  • Offshore companies and trusts

For a no cost appointment with Mr. Doran in Dhaka first week of March, email  or contact Mr. Doran by fax or telephone as follows:

Before Wed 1 March: Bangkok fax +66(2) 631 1556, tel +66(2)631 2047

From Wed 1 March to Tue 7 March: Dhaka tel/fax +880(2)8822148

Sovereign also has offices in Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul and Tokyo  email  for more information or to make an appointment.

** Contemporary Bengali Instruction **

Nondita Chowdhury offers Bengali instruction to individuals and groups:

+Course 1, Survival Bangla  20 2-hour sessions focusing on speaking and understanding 

+Course 2, Basic Bangla  20 2-hour sessions with the introduction of reading and writing +Individual instruction  tailored to students needs

Ms Chowdhury was principal of Heed Language Centre (199197), and has over 20 years experience in Bengali instruction. Lessons given at her school in Gulshan or learner's home or office. Courses cost Tk6000 per person for groups of two to seven, or Tk7500 for one person, includes all materials. For more information, email, include your name & telephone number.

** Update on the Team  Semi-Bye Harold, Hello Jodie **

Harold has departed for greener pastures (Texas...?) but will continue as head gadget maker (he's started work on a BICN screensaver). To see Harold's work, visit the website ( ): his nifty contributions include the time&dateinBangladesh display, the Taka exchange rates vs world currencies converter, the RPMConsultants website, etc.

Jodie in Paraguay (crossposted there from Dhaka in 1998) is joining as Proofreader/Fact Checker. Now there's a telecommute for ya, eh?

We could still use one more helper or two, to do any of the following:

  • Associate editor (generate content for the newsletter/website) 
  • Event editor 
  • Online presence development (generate links to at other web sites, generate visitors to through online promotions) 
  • Offline presence development (flyers, banners, media releases, participation in community events, partnering/exchanging with offline organizations) 
  • Advertising manager (this can be a paid commission position if you are keen) *Web site development & maintenance

Email  for more information.


** An Evening with the S T A R S  Acid Survivorīs Foundation Benefit **

On 17 Feb at 8pm, join top TV, cinema and sports personalities at the Sheraton Hotel Dhaka for "An Evening with the S T A R S  Acid Survivorīs Foundation Benefit"

08-09 pm: STREET PARTY  food, snake charming, fortune telling, musicians, novelty performers, raffle (big prizes)

09-10 pm: MUSIC PROGRAMME  top stars 



Tickets Tk 1500 each at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel.

** "We Are Saving Lives"  ICDDR,B Annual Hospital Endowment Fund Ball **

The ICDDR,B Hospital Endowment Fund Ball,affectionately known as the "Diarrhoea Ball," will take place 7:30pm Friday, 18 February, at the Sonargaon Hotel, Dhaka Bangladesh. The Ball will feature Music by Pentagon, dancing, an auction with some exciting and unique gifts including special dinners, airline tickets and works of art.

The Hospital Endowment Fund supports patient care and related services at the Dhaka ICDDR,B hospital, which treats over 100,000 patients annually, most of them children, for diarrhoeal and related diseases. The Dhaka hospital SAVES LIVES DAILY: over 99.5% of patients entering the hospital with lifethreatening diarrhoeal disease are treated successfully.

The ICDDR,B Centre is a unique scientific research institution in the developing world. Millions of lives have been saved and millions more improved as a result of the Centre's contributions to the diarrhoeal disease control and management; child survival strategies; nutrition; vaccine evaluation; and population research and services. Through the pioneering efforts of ICDDR,B and its Dhaka hospital Oral Rehydration Therapy (ORT) is now the standard treatment for diarrhoeal disease management throughout the world, saving millions of lives annually.

Ball tickets are Tk1500 per person. Raffle tickets at Tk500 per 20ticket book are also available. Raffle prizes include round trip airline tickets to attractive destinations in Asia and one special grand prize airline destination to be announced; dinners for two at many of Dhaka's best restaurants and clubs; weekend hotel accommodations; beauty salon packages and more!

To buy ball and raffle tickets, email for personalized ball and raffle ticket book delivery to your (reasonably findable) Dhaka home or office address at no additional charge. Please be sure to include the event name; number of tickets wanted; your name, address, and telephone number; and best times to contact you.

To become a corporate or individual sponsor or for additional information, contact Vanessa Brooks at ICDDR,B, tel 9881626 from 9 to 5 Sun through Thu, email .  See you at the Ball!

** Washington DC  General Meeting and Cultural Show, American Association of Bangladeshi Engineers and Architects (AABEA)**

The AABEA is pleased to invite you, your family and friends to its 19 Feb Annual General Meeting and Cultural Show, 4pm9pm Guy Mason Recreation Center, 3600 Calvert Street, N.W. Washington, DC.

Agenda: 4:00  4:30 Registration 4:30  5:00 Annual General Meeting 5:00  7:00 Technical Seminar/Speeches 7:00  8:00 Cultural Show  songs, dances, jokes, recitations, raffle 8:00  9:00 Dinner

Adults & children over 7 years USD7, children under 7 free. To RSVP by 12 Feb or for more info, email or 

** Asian Study Group  Mahasthangarh Trip **

The ASG is pleased to announce a trip to Mahasthangarh February 1113, 2000. The itinerary that follows is provisional and details are subject to final confirmation. We anticipate that the cost will not exceed Taka 4,000 per person. A number of members have already signed up for the trip, but there are places left. If you would like to join us please email no later than Thursday, February 3. A trip orientation will be held at the Preston residence and is tentatively scheduled for Monday, February 7, at 5:30 p.m. Further details will be provided shortly. For more info, or 

Provisional itinerary:

Fri 11 February 0700  Depart Dhaka by minibus 1130  Arrive Rural Development Academy, Bogra, lunch. 1300  To Mahasthangarh, tour site and museum with guide. 1700  Return RDA Bogra, overnight (simple, clean accommodation)

Sat 12 Feb 

  • 0800  Depart Bogra for Paharpur by minibus 
  • 0900  Tour Paharpur site and museum with guide 
  • 1030  Depart Paharpur for Rajshahi 
  • 1230  Arrive Rajshahi, lunch 
  • 1330  To Rajshahi museum, tour museum with guide. 
  • 1530  To Puthia site and temples 
  • 1700  Return to Rajshahi

Sun 13 Feb 

  • 0700  Depart Rajshahi by minibus 
  • 1030  Arrive Dhaka

** Asian Study Group  The Monday Group **

The Monday Group is a very informal subgroup of the Asian Study Group. Participating members usually share the organizational responsibilities for weekly meetings on a wide range of topics focused on the Subcontinent. Meetings are normally held during the day.

Monday Group members pursue sociocultural subjects that pique their interest  some lively and entertaining, some serious and provocative. In the past year, members visited a jute factory, viewed a video on rape, learned about workers within the garment industry, met rickshaw wallahs, and observed the production of traditional Bengali shawls.

For more information on the Monday Group, email .


Email  for more info or to order. Free delivery service in Dhaka. Overseas customers, use the links provided below to visit each book's entry at

Development As Freedom by Amartya Sen, winner of the 1999 Nobel Price in Economics. Oxford University Press, 1999/2000. 366pp. Tk820. Publisher: "Sen explains how, in a world of unprecedented increase in overall opulence, millions of people living in rich and poor countries are still unfree. Even if they are not technically slaves, they are denied elementary freedom and remain imprisoned in one way or another by economic poverty, social deprivation, political tyranny, or cultural authoritarianism. The main purpose of development is to spread freedom and its 'thousand charms' to the unfree. Freedom, Sen persuasively argues, is at once the ultimate goal of social and economic arrangements and the most efficient means of realizing general welfare. "The world's poor and dispossessed could have no more articulate or insightful a champion among economists that Amartya Sen. By showing that the quality of our lives should be measured not by our wealth but by our freedom, his writings have revolutionized the theory and practice of development. The United Nations, in its own development work, has benefitted immensely from the wisdom and good sense of Professor Sen's views." (Kofi Annan, UN SecretaryGeneral). Tk820 from Mr Kashem. USD19.25 from (retail USD27.50), click for more information: 

The Book of Tea. Anthony Burgess and a group of historians, writers, and journalists introduce us to the techniques of tea cultivation, and follow the great clipper ships to the Far East in their quest for the most extraordinary varieties. From Donna Seaman  BookList: 'Tea has always been associated with ritual and pleasure. This capacious, lushly illustrateddare we say, coffeetablebook presents a vivid history of tea's cultivation, commerce, myth, and connoisseurship. Photos and text whisk us to the bountiful tea gardens of India, China, and Japan, where we learn about the entire process of planting, plucking, sorting, withering, fermenting, and drying. The colourful careers of tea baronsincluding the first Englishman to "solve the mystery of Chinese tea," Robert Fortune; tea industrialist James Taylor; and, of course, Thomas Twining and Tom Liptonare recounted. Tea's culture, both in the East and in the West, is examined in detail, from the specifics of ceremonies to the shapes of teapots, samovars, cups, bowls, and glasses, and tea's traditionally beautiful packaging. Various favored settings for tea consumption in England, Holland, Russia, Morocco, Afghanistan, Egypt, Japan, China, and India are identified and compared, from alfresco gatherings to dining rooms of luxury trains, tea salons, tents, stalls, and palaces. The final chapter categorizes the flavors and properties of many different blends of tea and suggests optimum methods for brewing and serving. An elegant and informative volume rich in anecdote and art.' Flammarion 1992, 256 pp., colour throughout. Printed in Italy. Tk4800 from Mr. Kashem, at, USD35 (retail price USD50).

The Janhangirnama  Memoirs of Jahangir, Emperor of India. Translated, edited, and annotated by Wheeler M. Thackston. Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, in asoociation with Oxford University Press, New York / Oxford, 1999. 502pp., many colour and B&W plates. Tk2600. New translation of the memoirs of the builder of the Taj Mahal, by a professor of Near Eastern languages at Harvard University (also translator & editor of "The Baburnama, Memoirs of Babur, Prince and Emperor", Oxford University Press 1996 [Ed.: which I have and enjoyed greatly.] Tk2600 from Mr Kashem. USD45.50 from (retail USD65), click for more information: 


Fan mail from Belgium: "Your newsletter provides information about the subcontinent that you don't see elsewhere.... The website is simple but interactive & informative. It's interesting to see other points of view, especially of expats who are resident in Bangladesh for a while. Thanks for all of your efforts to make this world a better place to live in. With regards, E Huq, Deloitte & Touche, Diegem Belgium."


All events are in Dhaka unless otherwise noted. Entry to some events is restricted eg to members  contact the organizers for information.

Thu 3 Feb  BWA New Year dinner. Invitation only, invitees will be full and associate members plus associate member waiting list, and their spouses/partners. Ladies attending should bring a small gift <Tk 200 value.

4-15 Feb  40th Solo Painting Exhibition of Jalal Ahmed. Opening at 4pm with special guests US Ambassador John Holzman and eminent artist Aminul Islam. DD Art and Crafts Gallery, House 20 Road 99 Gulshan, RSVP 9128354-8 .

4-11 Feb  Solo Rickshaw Painting Exhibition of the Artist Alinoor. Alliance Francaise de Dhaka, 3-8pm daily.

Mon 7 Feb: BWA Committee Meeting, 7:30pm. For more info including venue, email All BWA members welcome to attend if they wish to discuss something with the committee, or contact a committee member. For more info including venue, email .

Fri 11 Feb  Valentine Dance, Canadian Club.

Fri 11 Feb  Dhaka American Women's Club Champagne & Chocolate Party, 710pm. Members only, for more info including venue email  .

1113 Feb  Asian Study Group Mahasthangarh trip. See community announcement item (above) for full details.

Sat 12 Feb  UNWA General Meeting, 10am, Kings Kitchen, 109 Gulshan Avenue, Gulshan. Programme will include announcement of the Nominating Committee 2000, and a demonstration of jewellerymaking by Mrs. Chandra Black who specializes in pearl jewellery. Email  .

Sun 13 Feb  Music & Dance Troupe from Okinawa Japan, 630pm Osmani Hall. Presented by Bangladesh Shilpakalpa Academy & Embassy of Japan. Some free passes available to Bangladesh expats, call 8810087 x155, 157, 158 to request.

Mon 14 Feb  UNWA Coffee Morning, 10am. Everyone is welcome, especially newcomers! To advise if you plan to attend, and for more info including venue, email 

Tue 15 Feb  Submission deadline for next issue of BICN. Email your community announcements, personal classifieds, article contributions, website finds, commercial ads, etc., to  . Providing your items in BICN format is ***greatly*** appreciated (especially calendar items).


Thu 17 Feb: An Evening with the S T A R S, Acid Survivorīs Foundation Benefit See community announcements item (above) for more info.

Fri 18 Feb  ICDDR,B Hospital Endowment Fund Ball ("Diarrhoea Ball"), 7:30pm Sonargoan Hotel ballroom. For more info email . Tickets are Tk1500 from ICDDR,B External Relations Office in Mohakhali. Or, email for personalized ticket delivery to your home or office at no additional charge  include the event name; number of tickets wanted; your name, address, and telephone number; and best times to contact you.

Sat 19 Feb - Washington, DC, Annual General Meeting and Cultural Show. See community announcements item (above) for more info.

Sat Feb 19 - UNWA Monthly Activity, visit the Institute Of Fine Arts at Dhaka University. Departure from the American Club at 10.30 AM. sharp. To sign upa and for more info, email .

Mon 21 Feb - National Holiday, Shaheed Day / International Mother Language Day

Thu 24 Feb - African Night BBQ Party. BAGHA Club. Tickets Tk500 at the BAGHA bar, advance purchase only.

Sat 26 Feb - DAWC "Borders East" (formerly known as the DAWC Book Sale). Venue TBA, email  .

Mon 28 Feb - UNWA Monthly Lunch, 12:30am, BHC Club. Sign up and payment for the luncheon at the General Meeting. Cost Tk 300. Email  .

Fri 3 Mar - United Nations Women's Association Silver Jubilee Celebration, Sonargaon Hotel Poolside, 7:30pm. Celebrating 25 Years in Bangladesh with an international night. Dinner and entertainment from around the world. National dress. Tickets Tk 1250, available from .

Tues 7 Mar - UNWA visit to the Mother Theresa Home for Abandoned Children. The Home is one of a number of organizations/projects supported by UNWA. Email for more information.

Fri 10 Mar - DAWC 50s, 60s, 70s party.

Sat 11 Mar - UNWA Annual General Meeting, 10am. Email .

Wed 15 Mar - Glitter Party at the Australian Club. Tickets on sale to Oz Club members 2-4pm starting 22 Feb, to members of other clubs from 23 Feb. Sun - Tues 14-16 May, Oslo: European Network of Bangladesh Studies Sixth Workshop, "Bangladesh - Changing Identities and Economic Transformation," hosted by the Department of Sociology at the University of Oslo, with NORAD funding. For more information, see the website

Sat 25 Mar - Scheduled visit of US President Clinton to Bangladesh.


** Programme Coordinator: Capacity Building for International Cooperation, The European Centre for Development Policy Management, Maastricht. **

ECDPM aims at the improvement of international cooperation between Europe and countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP countries), through capacity mobilisation in poor countries, the promotion of policy dialogue between those countries and Europe and through information exchange., the Centre has built a name for itself as an independent It has a full-time staff of 25 and part-time consultants in Europe and elsewhere and is funded through an endowment and core contributions from various European countries. Candidate requirements - creative manager with ten years relevant experience, at least five in developing countries, preferably Africa, proven interest in European international cooperation and institutional development. Proven skills in the management of comparable programmes in Africa-Caribbean- Pacific; thorough knowledge of institutional capacity building, proven capacity for policy research, workshop facilitation, and fund raising; fluent spoken French and English, and proven writing capacities in one or both; master's or doctor degree in a relevant discipline; willingness to engage in extended travel from Maastricht. Starting annual salary is Euro 50.000 with growth possibilities, plus benefit package. Apply by 15 Feb to Dr Louk de la Rive Box, Director ECDPM, OLV Plein 21, 6211 HE Maastricht, The Netherlands (Fax: + 31 43 3 502 902, or e-mail: For more information: .


Srishti Cultural Centre, teaching classical, creative, and Bangladeshi dance, for adults and children, Fridays 4:30p-5:30p, Saturdays 3-4p, Black Belt Academy, Road 2 Plot 8, Gulshan-1. Organizer and dance teacher Anisul Islam Hero studied Bharatanatyam in India for five years. He has been a member of the national dance troupe of Bangladesh and has given many solo performances in Bangladesh and abroad in Europe, Asia, and the United states. Hero taught at Deep Sheekha School for street disadvantaged children and at Kalyani School for the mentally handicapped. He is a regular performer and choreographer for Bangladesh television. Email  .

+Visitors to BICN website since inception (Apr 98): 20,908 (582 in the last two weeks). BICN ezine subscribers: 576 (+9 in the last two weeks)

+Personal classified ads and community organization and event announcements appear FREE. Advertising rates apply to other items. Discounts available for small businesses, advertising packages, etc. Contact .

+BICN Fans - support BICN by using these links for your online shopping:

Barnes&Noble (books, magazines, music, software)


TravelNow (discount worldwide car/plan/hotel/train bookings)


EthnicGrocer (ethnic groceries, cookbooks, etc.)


Click to recommend BICN to your friends

+Mr Kashem's Roving Rickshaw Bookstore ordering information - Email your inquiry or order to .  Special orders most welcome.  Mr Kashem provides FREE personal book and magazine delivery service to your home or office in Dhaka. For overseas orders:

1. We ship at cost from Bangladesh via FEDEX courier or airmail. Tell us what books you want plus the ship-to country, and we'll send you a quote for these two options.

2. BICN handling charge is USD3 for each order plus USD1 for each item.

3. Once your order is finalized, prepayment will required by USD or CAD check on a US or Canadian bank, or an international money order / bank draft, made out to Sara Bennett, and snail mailed to Sara Bennett, c/o nhc, 4823-99th St., Edmonton AB Canada T6E 4Y1.]