Moments in the Mirrors: Through The Glass Darkly Series (Volume 1)

This volume of columns written for the Dhaka Courier, a national newsweekly, became popular under the caption Through the Glass Darkly. The phrase occurs in the Bible 1 Corinthians 13 :12 where Paul speaks to the Corinthians of man’s childhood as a phase of life when his understanding is imperfect but ‘when I became a man I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly: Paul then speaks about three cardinal principles — faith, hope and charity; but the greatest of all these, he says is charity. Anyway, it was not the Bible that was in my mind when I chose this title for my column. It was the lngmar Burgman classic film of the same name which I saw when I was at Cambridge that made me choose this name for the column.

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About The Author

M Harunur Rashid

Professor M Harunur Rashid, who has served in the tertiary education sector both in the public and private universities, for the last 51 years, was educated at the universities of Dhaka and Cambridge, UK. He has held distinguished positions both at home and abroad. In 1984 he was elected President of the World University Service International, Geneva in the general assembly held at Nantes, France for a term of two years. Before him two distinguished persons from the sub-continent held this post — Dr Zakir Husain, fmr President of India and Dr I H Qureshi, fmr education minister of Pakistan. It was in 1991 during the interregnum of President Shahabuddin Ahmed that he was appointed the Director General of Bangla Academy. In 1998-1999 he was elected the President of the Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. In 2006 he was appointed the President of Bangla Academy for a term of two years. He briefly served as the chief editor of the Ohoka Courier in 1999. His association with the Dhaka Courier dates back to the mid-eighties when some of his former students decided to bring out a national weekly under the leadership of Enayetullah Khan. Having relinquished his job at the Dhaka University, Khan decided to be an entrepreneur in the business world where he achieved success. But he did not remain confined to the corporate world and devoted himself to a few social welfare projects of crucial importance. He has founded the UNB and the WTB (now known as Wild Team) and has patronised the setting up of Cosmos Atelier 71, an art gallery. Professor Rashid has worked with him in most of his welfare projects and is currently the Vice President of the WildTeam, Bangladesh.

I have contributed to the Dhaka Courier for about a quarter of a century with occasional interruptions. The topics were freely chosen from my own experience of different subjects with politics, education and society taking the center stage. In this volume I have chosen three most interesting of the topics — Musings, Travels and Tributes. While Musings would be interesting to the more serious readers, Travels would be deemed of great interest to young and old as they give my experiences of countries visited in connection with seminars and other conferences. The visits to Nepal and Yangon were personal and hence they give intimate glimpses into the societies of those countries. I paid two visits to Iran which would be of much interest to the readers since first-hand information about Iranian society after the Revolution is rarely found. The section devoted to Tributes are the most difficult of my essays since they attempt to sum up my grasp of personalities I came into contact with. But I think those are some of the most beautiful pieces that this volume contains. I hope volume 2 would soon follow and my readers all over the country would eagerly wait for that.

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