On the 2nd anniversary of the attack on Dr. Azad  

 HassanAl Abdullah

Published on February 13, 2007

Dear Friends:

Recently, while I was in Dhaka, Bangladesh during the Book Fair, I visited Humayun Azad's family. I spent a fair amount of time with his wife, Lotifa Kohinoor, and two children: Smita Azad, a student of the North-South university and Anayna Azad, a freshman at Notordam college. I am very pleased on their hospitality. They were very nice to offer me having diner with them.

We talked about Dr. Azad's last days in Dhaka, and how the German Embassy brought the news of Prof. Azad's death to them. The irony is though the news media and other propagandists circulated that Dr. Azad died from excessive drinking, but the police report did not even show substantial amount of alcohol in his blood. It again gives us a chance to discuss whether Dr. Azad died from heart attack or he was killed. Like many others, I still believe that he was killed by the fundamentalists.

I visited the family on the 25th of February, two days before the second anniversary of the brutal attack on Dr. Azad. It is my pleasure that I got a chance to share the pain for at least a little while sitting under the same roof. Thought Humayun Azad is no more, he is still vivid in the apartment, where he spent his last days before going to Germany. But, it is sad that the University asked the family to leave the apartment by May. I believe that the University can easily preserve the apartment for the memory of Dr. Azad, a literary giant, who wrote more 70 books in various genre including poetry, novel, essays, philosophical thinking, and above all, Pak Sar Jamin Saad Baad, for which we was attacked. The university of Dhaka was once called the Oxford of the East. I believe if Humayun Azad would have been a professor of the Oxford, the Oxford university would preserve his apartment for the researchers. So, why not the 'Oxford of the East' do the same?

During my staying in Dhaka, I got an offer from a publisher to write a book about my relation with Dr. Azad, and how we, Bangladeshi living abroad, and the people from all over the world, supported him after the attack on him. I already informed the family about the offer and started working towards the book. Hopefully, the book will come out next year during the Book Fair. I know Dr. Azad's spirit will not fade away and one day our Bangladesh will be free from fundamentalism.


Hassanal Abdullah Editor, Shabdaguchha

Hassanal Abdullah is the author of 11 books including six collections of poetry. He introduced a new form of sonnets, called Swatantra Sonnets. Mr. Abdullah teaches calculus and computers for the New York City Dept. of education.  E-mail: [email protected]