Some reflections of a bideshi friend

rifaat newaz
Published : 30 Oct 2016, 11:00 AM
Updated : 30 Oct 2016, 11:00 AM

I first came in contact with in March 2011 when I was remembering the Liberation War and the refugee crisis in India, some 40 years earlier.

Since then has always encouraged me to write about different topics through the eyes of a foreigner who has seen the development of Bangladesh since those dark days of 1971. While often writing about my memories of 1971, including the people I met at that time, such as Senator Edward Kennedy, Mother Teresa and Tajuddin Ahmad, I have also written on subjects close to my heart; eradication of extreme poverty, climate change and the position of people with disabilities.

At every step, I have been encouraged by the attitude of, particularly the Editor-in-Chief, Toufique Imrose Khalidi. Not only was the first online newspaper in Bangladesh, it became clear to me that it was not biased politically one way or the other. That is very important for a foreigner who writes on the progress and development of Bangladesh. is the first place I go for the morning news at about 5 a.m. each day, but it is not just the national and international news that is covered. All the other sections, including special sections for children, arts and opinions, are always found to be most interesting. Of course, it is also wonderful to know that everything I see online is available in Bangla as well. It is, therefore, no surprise that probably reaches more readers than any other news provider.

One of the outstanding events of 2016 was the publication by of Turning Points in collaboration with The New York Times, full of thought provoking articles by leading commentators on different aspects of Bangladesh's development.

Julian Francis
is a recipient of Foreign Friends of Bangladesh honour for his role in 1971 and a columnist

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher