BICN 8-21 Feb 2001
Volume 4 Number 11
From the Editor
Update on the Asha Project
"A Newcomer's Guide to Angkor Wat -- A Personal
Establishment of Bangladesh Caucus
(USA) - From Bangladesh-American Foundation
Aerobics For Baby Boomers
Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond
BACUSA - Bangladesh Association of ChicagoLand
Standard Chartered Grindlays Bangladesh
Subscription, Advertising, & Other Details
Next issue submission deadline Tue
20 Feb 2001.
(c) BICN. Items may be freely reprinted with this attribution:
"Source: Bangladesh International Community News ( http://bicn.com
/ email@example.com )."
Get BICN on your handheld! Visit:
From the Editor
Mike & Rosey Whittles' Asha "sponsoring girls into education"
project has gotten off to a strong start, with an amazing response from BICN
subscribers and others. Asha was featured in the last edition of BICN and within
24 hours of publication, Mike had received a dozen emails from BICN subscribers
around the world expressing an interest in the project. Many in the Dhaka
community have come forward as well. Well done!
And an update on the Asha Project from Mike & Rosey Whittles:
"We are calling this venture the Asha Project (asha = hope). What we are
seeing today is the firstfruits of God's promise to us three years ago, before
we even considered coming to Bangladesh. God promised us then that we would
bring hope to the poor. It is exciting to realise that this is beginning to
"Asha is presently reaching some of the young working girls of our area
of Dhaka. We now have eleven enrolled in four local schools. Three of these
schools happen to be Christian in foundation and support although all of the
children are Muslim at present. Children are chosen because we have got to know
them and relate to them on the streets and they are matched to whatever local
schools are suitable and available. Our concern is only to help those in need by
a practical demonstration of the love that God has for them.
"It's very early days for us yet. Five of the older girls enrolled only
on Saturday and afterwards they came round to our house in the evening to tell
us all about it over a Bangla meal. They then presented us with a variety
concert of dance and song in celebration! They seem happy and able to make a go
of it but we realise that this is a new life for them and may take some
adjusting to. We are praying that they may be able to adopt good study habits
and receive much encouragement from their teacher and families. School is only
for the afternoon so that still leaves the problem of time on their hands in the
morning. Some of them are still drawn back to the market and the streets- a
lifetime's habits are hard to change - but I would like see some training time
begun for life and work skills as soon as possible. Premises and instructors
will be needed for that.
"We manage to keep in touch with all the girls. Four younger girls who
started last week were telling me today that they have been unable to get their
class one Bangla books. There's somewhat of a nationwide shortage at the moment.
We are going hunting for books tomorrow afternoon because we don't want them to
get bored or disillusioned so soon. This evening Selina, now into her third week
of school in Class 3 after a four year absence, was here with her brother for
tea. She's very keen & trying hard to catch up, getting up at 5am to do her
housework tasks & homework before school.
"Rehennna and Moyna, our local brick-breaker friends also visited us, as
they do most days. Their school uniform dresses should be ready for them at the
tailors tomorrow. Rehennana, aged eleven, shy with a Mona Lisa smile, has had no
previous schooling. Her sister, a year older and very bright, is starting again
in Class Six after a year's absence working on the building sites around DOHS.
"As money comes in we will get more girls placed. Already I am receiving
requests from other girls who have heard of the scheme. I also know of two
girls, Mirani and Dolly who have, over Eid, begun work as houseservants in
Gulshan 1, yet would love to have gone to school instead. It remains to be seen
if I can extract them from their positions. Often, young girls can face
considerable risk of abuse in domestic service, and some end up almost as
slaves, tied seven days a week to their employers with hardly any remuneration.
Mirani and Dolly are apparently receiving Tk100 a week ($US2) each for living in
and working seven days. I intend to enquire further.
"There are boys who are desperately in need of help too. On Saturday
night I went out on the Circle with a Bengali friend to see Khanif, a twelve
year old orphan who ekes out an existence at Dui Number. Just before Eid time I
spent a long evening in Gulshan Thana (police station) trying to get him
released from a prison cell. Surprisingly, at 2am he was at last released into
my custody, without even the need to pay a bribe. My wife and friends were
praying and we thank God for the Chief of Police's change of heart. My
Bangladeshi friend already cares for several boys rescued from drug abuse
situations. After chatting with Khanif, it seems he might be willing to take one
more! We are arranging to take Khanif to his home this week. Once there I am
hoping to provide a level of support similar to the teenage girls and get him
into school. He's a lovely lad, affectionate and polite, but on the brink of
disaster if he doesn't receive help soon.
"Every one of these lovely kids needs help, shelter, education, and
love, and my desire is that Asha can somehow be for them too and others like
them. This summer I am intending to give up my full-time teaching job at the
International School and work in the slums and streets. I can hardly wait;
there's so much to do and who knows how much time to do it in. I am able to
raise my own support to continue in the work and my wife will continue to work
as a teacher. We have no intention that our fundraising should benefit ourselves
at all. We have a basic lifestyle here - no car - we bought a rickshaw instead
for Nurul our rickshaw wallah - and much of our own resources are presently
channelled into the lives of other people.
"We have an immediate need for funds to enable us to make payments to
needy children, to arrange school enrollments and purchase uniforms, books etc.
We would therefore be grateful if some people could consider making a
contribution to our presently limited resources. If you wish to make a monthly
donation for sponsorship these are currently Tk800 per month or Tk9600 taka per
year (about USD175). We will inform you how your sponsorship has been allocated
or you can wait to be informed of a possible candidate. For more information on
how you can contribute, email whittles@citechco
A Newcomer's Guide to Angkor Wat -- A Personal View
By Carey N. Gordon, USAID/Cambodia [Reprinted from The Jute of last year
What is known as "Angkor Wat" is actually comprised of dozens of
separate temples and monuments spread out over about 50 square miles, most built
during the period 950-1150 AD. The largest is the Angkor Wat temple itself. My
favorite temple is Ta Prohm, but each time we go we see new temples, which never
cease to amaze us.
The jumping off point for a visit to Angkor Wat is Siem Reap. Air travel
between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap takes about 35 minutes, and costs about USD110
roundtrip on Royal Air Cambodge. Also on some days there are direct flights from
Bangkok to Siem Reap.
Siem Reap has a multitude of hotels and guesthouses at all comfort levels and
prices. We have stayed three times at a modest medium-sized place called the
Bayon Hotel, which is centrally located in Siem Reap and costs about $30 per
night for a double room. Rooms have good a/c, shower, comfortable beds, cable TV
and a small fridge in the room. Not a glitzy place, but extremely good value.
The Bayon Hotel telephone number is (855) 015-631-769, and the fax number is
(855) 063-963-993,. Ask them whether they will send a car to meet you, which is
their custom. The driver will be standing outside the air terminal (a small
building) with a sign with your name on it. No charge to get you to the hotel.
On the off chance you are not met, a taxi to the hotel should cost $1 or $2.
We have also stayed at Angkor Village, which is about $75/night for a double,
charming in its local flavor -(lots of wood, built on stilts), with a small
swimming pool, but no TV or fridge in the room.
Siem Reap also has several top end hotels. The Grand Hotel is Siem Reap's
fanciest hotel, refurbished and reopened late last year, which caters to upscale
tourists and tour groups. We often go there for a pre-dinner drink in the lobby
bar of the hotel. The Grand Hotel also has a bakery and a shop that sells
English language books about Cambodia.
The going daily rate to hire a car and driver for your use all day including
dinner hours is $20 per day. Most drivers speak enough English to do basic
I recommend you hire a guide if this will be your first visit to Angkor Wat.
We did this on our first visit; it helped orient us and to take us to places we
would otherwise have missed, although on subsequent trips we've just hired a car
and driver. An English-speaking guide who knows the monuments and temples costs
$20 per day. The driver and guide are generally not the same person; you have to
hire the guide separately.
If you're feeling more adventurous, you can also hire a moto with driver for
transport (about $5-6 per day, I'm told). You can also do self-guided touring
with a guidebook if you're so inclined. Either the driver or hotel can obtain a
guide for you.
One afternoon, when you want a break from visiting temples, I strongly
suggest a visit to the "Vietnamese fishing village" on the lake (Tonle
Sap), about 20 minutes from Siem Reap. Have your driver or guide help you hire a
boat to take you around the houseboats, which should cost you about $10 for a
couple of hours. Very relaxing and very interesting.
We always eat lunch at Chez Sophea, which is one of a group of small open-air
(with roof) restaurants directly in front of the main entrance to the Angkor Wat
temple. It's set back about 150 yards from the road along with the other
restaurants there (Chez Sophea is the one on the far left as you're looking at
the restaurants from Angkor Wat) . This restaurant is operated by a friendly
Frenchman and his Cambodian wife, originally from Algeria but who's been in
Cambodia about nine years. A very interesting fellow (speaks good English) who
likes to visit with his guests. After long mornings of visiting the temples we
usually end up taking a long leisurely lunch there. He has a standard menu with
wonderfully marinated steak, fish, chicken and pork, and a great salad with his
own special dressing. Dinner and drinks for two: about $25.
For dinner, we usually eat at the Bayon Restaurant, not associated or
connected with the Bayon Hotel, about a 5 minute drive from the Bayon Hotel.
It's the most popular expat eatery in Siem Reap, which also attracts some
Cambodians, with very good inexpensive oriental food. Dinner for two with drinks
will set you back about $10.
Establishment of Bangladesh Caucus (USA) - From Bangladesh-American
"We need your assistance and need it urgently.
"I just received a telephone call from the Office of Congressman Joseph
Crowley (D-NY07). He is interested in taking a lead in establishing a Bangladesh
Caucus on the Hill.
"I am writing to seek your input on an urgent basis.
"First, please indicate the Congressional districts with highest number
of Bangladeshi-Americans in TEXAS, CALIFORNIA, Detroit (IL), NEW JERSEY and New
"Second, suggest a Republican in the Congress who has a significant
Bangladeshi-American constitutency and who might be interested in co-sponsoring,
which is necessary to register the Caucus.
"Third, suggest names of Congressman and Senators, such as Senator
McCain, who might be sympathetic to a Bangladesh Caucus whether or not they have
a significant Bangladeshi-American constituency.
"Fourth, tell us if you know members of the Ways and Means Committee
whom we could approach to join the Caucus.
"Please respond quickly with these information. We need to have the
relevant information by this Thursday [8 Feb].
"Please mail your information directly to Probashiusa98@hotmail.com
"For information on the objectives and activities of the
Bangladeshi-American Foundation, please visit http://WWW.Bangladeshi-American.org
." [no longer online]
Aerobics For Baby Boomers
New class consisting of 15 minutes warm up with weights and stretches; 20
minutes step; 10 minutes toning with weights and floor exercises; 7 minutes ab
work; 8 minutes cool down stretch. Sunday and Wednesday 5:30-6:30pm at the
American Club. Open to all expat club card holders, Tk1500 for the series 4 Feb
- 21 Mar. All profits go to Saturday School, AIS/D HS Service Learning Project.
Events Calendar, Dhaka & Beyond
To have your Bangladesh-related event - in Dhaka or anywhere else in the
world - included in the next Event Calendar, please email the time, date, place,
description, and email contact address to firstname.lastname@example.org
by Tues 16 Jan 01.
All events are in Dhaka unless otherwise noted. Entry to some events is
restricted, eg to members - contact event organizers for more information.
February - Street Children's Party, BAGHA Club. Date TBA.
8-17 Feb - Polly Hope's 'Spaces & Places' at DRIK Gallery. Last
Exhibition of Chobi Mela 2000, open daily 3-8pm. "Polly uses various art
techniques and forms in her work, where photographs are mainly used to give a
view of 360degree space, or you may call it 720degree space. Her work presents
an entirety of events happening around any point on one large canvas. She
prefers to term her work as 'the archival documents about places and
experimental work of a camera as lively as a paint-brush.' Some of the
decade-old places of Bangladesh can be seen with amazement in her work, which
reveals that our own surroundings are moving through various changes."
10-11 Feb - The British Council presents, "State of Bengal," Asian
underground from the UK plus Miles and a fusion session with Dhaka classical
musicians. At 7pm in Osmani Hall. Admit cards Tk80 at British Council, British
Council Teaching Centre, Sagor Publishers Bailey Rd, Video Connection Gulshan,
Film Fair Video Dhanmondi.
Mon 12 Feb - BAGHA Quiz Night.
Tue 13 Feb - Valentine Dinner & Dance, International Club, 8pm. Tickets
Tk1000 per couple for members, Tk1500 non-members.
Wed 14 Feb - "Lady in Red" Valentine Dinner Dance, ARA
Thu 15 Feb - Pub Folk And Blues Night at the BAGHA.
Thu 15 Feb - Valentine Disco Dance, Canadian Club, 10pm. Tickets Tk300.
Fri 16 Feb - AIS/D International Fair, 3-6pm. Admission Tk50, under 3 free.
Fri 16 Feb - Masked Ball, 8pm BHC Club. Tickets Tk1000 each at BHC Club &
Mon 19 Feb - BWA Committee Meeting, 7:30pm. Email email@example.com
Tue 20 Feb - Deadline to submit items for next edition of BICN.
Wed 21 Feb - Shaheed Dibash (Government holiday)
Late February & Beyond
Mon 26 Feb - BAGHA Quiz Night.
Fri 2 Mar - Waitangi Day celebration. For more info, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Fri 2 Mar - Annual Fund Raising Ball, The United Kingdom Association of
Bangladesh is having its at the Dhaka Sheraton. Tickets and details from Ian
Maitland on maitland@bangla .
Tue-Thu 6-8 Mar - Eid ul Azha (Government holiday, subject to moon)
Wed 7 Mar - BWA Monthly Meeting, 3:30pm. Talk on earthquake preparedness by
Dr. Sara Bennett. Email email@example.com for venue.
Wed-Fri 7-9 Mar - AIS/D High School presents the musical, "The Little
Shop of Horrors," 7pm. Adults Tk200, students Tk150.
Mon 12 Mar - BAGHA Quiz Night.
Sat 17 Mar - Bangabandhu's Birthday (Government holiday)
Mon 19 Mar - BWA Committee Meeting, 7:30pm. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mon 26 Mar - BAGHA Quiz Night.
Mon 26 Mar - Independence Day (Government holiday)
Mon 9 Apr - BAGHA Quiz Night.
Mon 23 Apr - BAGHA Quiz Night.
BACUSA - Bangladesh Association of ChicagoLand
"Bangladesh Association of ChicagoLand recently redesigned their web
site http://www.BACUSA.org . This is a good informative site for Bangladeshis
living in USA and Canada. It also contains information about immigration to the
USA and Canada, INS form, passport-visa information and application form, local
news and special activities throughout the N. America and Greater ChicagoLand
"Here's how you can have access to more than 30,000 exclusive images of
Asia in four easy steps:
- Go to www.FotoAsia.com
- Browse or search for images by keywords
- Pay through credit cards via secure transactions
- Download the image/s
"If you are targeting the Asian market, we can offer you royalty-free
Asian images for your creative and publishing needs at competitive prices, from
as low as US$30. For a catalog, go to www.FotoAsia.com and download our FREE
e-catalogs and browse at your own convenience."
Standard Chartered Grindlays Bangladesh
Is at: http://www.standardchartered.com/bd/index.html
Always free in BICN - personal classified ads, this means ads to buy or sell
personal household items, to hire or place household staff. For security/privacy
reasons, ads contain only names and email addresses - residential addresses and
phone numbers are not normally published.
ITEMS FOR SALE: End of March beginning of April, 2001. 1. Car Toyota
Sprinter, 1981 Engine 6 months guaranty. No passbook needed. Tk 75,000. 2. Air
Conditioner General. Compressor guaranty: 20.05.2001. Service guarantee
20.05.2005. Tk 31,000. 3. Air Conditioner Carrier. Guaranty: 20.06.2002. Tk
28,500. 4. Automatic Washing Machine Samsung. Guaranty: 28.06.2001. Tk 18,000 5.
Refrigerator Samsung. Guaranty: 14.05.2002. Red colour. Tk 15,000. 6. TV set
Daewoo, 14'' Tube guaranty: 31.05.2001. Tk 12,500. 7. Gas stove General
Electric. Spark ignition. Two burns.No oven. Tk 2,500. 8. Book shelf Medium
size. Tk 1,000. 9. Corner sofa set 5 pieces. Deep blue. Tk 5,000. 10. Iron
table. Tk 300. 11. Curtains. Two types. For 5 windows. Tk 3,500. 12. Mattresses
(2+2) and Pillows (4) For double beds. Tk 1,500. 13. Plates and cups 6 pieces.
Tk 1,500. All prices are negotiable. Please contact Eugene Bourlakov at email@example.com
or office tel (9 a.m. 6 p.m.) 8126204.
BLENDER WANTED - If you've got one you don't need anymore, or never really
got around to using, I'll buy it from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
WANTED TO BUY: Audio equipment: stereo hifi amplifier and loudspeakers. If
you have either for sale, email Tim@Expatria.every1
EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT: "Sukomar, my part-time roof-top gardener, is
available for additional part-time or alternative full-time employment as
chowkhidar, chowkhidar-cum-mali or mali. Email osinskip@citechco
EMPLOYMENT SOUGHT: For more information email email@example.com
- Cook/Bearer. Choku - Mali/Assistant Bearer/Day Guard. Tuku - Night Guard.
FOR SALE: Quarter size child's violin in excellent condition, Tk12,000. High
quality imported wooden high chair with tray, very good condition Tk3000 (new
equivalent would be ~Tk5000); USA child carseat (for older baby up to about four
years old), excellent condition functionally but well worn in appearance, Tk3000
(new equivalent would be ~Tk4000). Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Subscription, Advertising, & Other Details
BICN is a free email newsletter published first & third Wednesdays,
September to May, from Dhaka Bangladesh. Sara Bennett, Editor.
Contact Info - Email all inquiries & items to email@example.com
. BGD tel +880(2)988-1708, USA fax +1(978)418-8132, mail H28 R4 Blk C, Banani
Always Free -
- Personal ads to buy and sell personal items, hire/place household staff,
lost & found, sublets
- Community announcements
- Letters to the editor
- Press releases
- And of course subscribing!
Economical Ads -
- Offer your apartment/house/land for rent or sale
- List employment available or sought
- Offer products/services for sale
Ads cost only USD8 (Tk450) for up to 100 words, half price for repeats booked
with the original order. Payment accepted in Taka cash/check, USD cash/check
with payment pick up for reasonable Dhaka addresses, or by Credit Card, secure
payment on & offline available worldwide!
Newsletter Subscribers: 837 (+28 in the last two weeks).
Website Visitors (since Apr 98 inception): 53,930 (3871 in the last two