The winner of this year's Nobel Peace Prize says his horrifying experiences as a young Ethiopian soldier informed his determination to seek the end of a long conflict with a neighboring country.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed spoke at Oslo City Hall during the ceremony in Norway's capital where he received his Nobel on Tuesday, saying: "War is the epitome of hell for all involved. I know because I was there and back."
Abiy won the prize, in part, for making peace with Eritrea after one of Africa's longest-running conflicts. Abiy served in the army during the war.
"Twenty years ago, I was a radio operator attached to an Ethiopian army unit in the border town of Badame," he recalled. "I briefly left the foxhole in the hopes of getting a good antenna reception....It only took but a few minutes. Yet upon my return I was horrified to discover that my entire unit had been wiped out in an artillery attack."
A weeklong book fair titled ‘Dhaka University Book Fair’ kicked off at Hakim Chattar on the DU campus on Tuesday.
Director General of the Press Institute of Bangladesh (PIB) Zafar Wazed inaugurated the book fair organised by Dhaka University Central Students’ Union (Ducsu) while State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam was present at the opening ceremony as the chief guest.
Appreciating the Ducsu initiative, Shahriar said Dhaka University has got elected student representatives after a long time.
He said military rulers destroyed all the democratic systems and institutions of the country.
"After winning the 2008 general election under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina leadership, Bangladesh is doing excellent in all the sectors, including economy and education, and it has now become a role model of development across the world," the state minister added.
Presided over by DU Vice-chancellor and Ducsu President Prof Dr Md Akhtaruzzaman, Ducsu Treasurer Prof Shibli Rubayat Ul Islam and Assistant General Secretary Saddam Hussein, among others, addressed the function.
A total of 80 publications are participating in the book fair which will remain open from 11am to 8:30pm every day till December 16.
The 15th edition of International Short and Independent Film Festival (ISIFF) is currently drawing film enthusiasts in the capital, through the showcasing of short films made by renowned national and international short-filmmakers.
This year’s festival is showcasing over two-hundred short and independent films from 45 countries. Each screening comprises with various genres including short fiction, short animation, short documentary, short experimental and feature length films.
Besides regular screening sessions, other special screenings are also scheduled including Lithuanian film package, FTI student film package, Retrospective of Abbas Kiarostami and Kumar Shahani, and a seminar titled Alamgir Kabir Memorial Lecture.
The weeklong biennale film festival was inaugurated on Saturday, December 7 by Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen at the Central Public Library Auditorium in Shahbagh.
Renowned Indian filmmaker Kumar Sahani and Indian film, television and radio director-screenwriter Kamal Swaroop attended the festival as special guests. Presided by festival chairman Nasiruddin Yousuff Bacchu, the inaugural ceremony was also joined by Bangladesh Short Film Forum President Zahidur Rahim Anjan and festival director N Rashed Chowdhury, among others.
The festival is scheduled to showcase films every day at 3 pm, 5 pm and 7 pm in all of its three venues- Central Public Library, National Museum and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy till December 13.
Organized by Bangladesh Short Film Forum, the festival is partnered by Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy, Goethe Institut, Aliance Francaise de Dhaka, Institut Francais and Shiksha – Shangskrity Shohay Foundation, in association with Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Information and Ministry of Cultural Affairs.
Speakers at Bangla Academy said that although Begum Rokeya always raised her voice against inequalities and got addressed as a feminist, all of her revolutionary writings and social activities show that she was more than a feminist.
“Rokeya was full of positive energy to fight against all odds, and always tried to motivate women who are suppressed and unaware about their potentials. Today’s theory of gender equality has been talked about in Rokeya’s essays which she wrote years ago,” said eminent writer Selina Hossain.
The seminar was arranged as part of Bangla Academy’s celebration of ‘Rokeya Day’, in remembrance of the revolutionary Bengali Muslim educationist Begum Rokeya Shakhawat Hossain on her 139th birth and 87th death anniversary.
“If women can achieve their economic freedom, they can get their needed respect in society- that was Rokeya’s motif. She tried to secure a social system where women do not have to seek financial needs from men,” Selina explained regarding Begum Rokeya’s philosophy on women’s empowerment.
She added, “As a revolutionary, Rokeya never talked against men nor held them accountable for the situation of women- however, she criticized the enormous parochialism and excessive conservatism which were principally responsible for the relatively slow development of Muslims at her time. She always wanted women to be equal- not inferior, neither superior. Her thoughts and theories are still relatable with the current state of the society, and that only proves she was far ahead and progressive at her time.”
Bangla Academy President and National Professor Dr Anisuzzaman, along with the Director General of Bangla Academy Habibullah Siraji also spoke at the event.
“Fighting to change the situation for women was not easy at all during the time of Rokeya, who was born and brought up in a strict Muslim family. She had to embrace the odds in order to fight through it. She made school for girls, wrote the right things for their betterment and always thought like a practical revolutionist,” Prof Anisuzzaman said at the event.
A minute of silence was observed prior to event, in remembrance of eminent academic and valiant freedom fighter Professor Ajoy Roy, who passed away on Monday.
In addition to the seminar, Bangla Academy also organized discussions and cultural event at Begum Rokeya Memorial Center in Pairaband, Rangpur.
South African beauty queen Zozibini Tunzi was crowned the 2019 Miss Universe on Sunday night, according to BBC.
Ms Tunzi emerged top in the contest after impressing the judges and fans through the different rounds with different outfits.
Miss Puerto Rico, Madison Anderson and Miss Mexico, Sofía Aragón emerged as runner-ups.
During question time Ms Tunzi said that the most important thing that girls needed to learn was leadership.
"It's something that has been lacking in young girls and women for a very long time not because we don’t want to but because of what society has labelled women to be. I think we are the most powerful beings in the world," she said.
Ms Tunzi had been running a campaign online where she urged South African men to write what she described as love letters to the country's women.
She went on to incorporate the letters in her national costume outfit that also featured the South African flag colours.