Published in The Daily Star | September 21, 2018 Private university student Sumon (not his real name) had already gone to bed when the police came to his bachelor pad, last month. The cops were on a “block raid”—a security exercise that Dhaka Metropolitan Police executed over several areas in the city in the aftermath … Continue reading When Digital Rights Become Human Rights
Cover Photo: Reuters A few days ago, I read a report on The Telegraph that discusses how the coronavirus has exposed deep societal divides in Bangladesh. The interviewees in the report talked about non-compliance with lockdowns, community-led approach and the country's fragile health system. These are all genuine concerns and thoughts. I wanted to add … Continue reading Why Local Context Matters in “Solving” Pandemics
Published in Dhaka Tribune | May 13, 2020Photos by Mahmud Hossain Opu Dhaka’s streets are no longer empty. Shops are slowly reopening. There are rickshaws and cars. Traffic is beginning to pile on. Emerging out of a 43-day “lockdown”, some are calling the country’s guidelines in limiting public interactions a “new normal”. Most people, including … Continue reading How Pandemics Should Not End
I'm glad to see zonal lockdown is finally coming to fruition albeit the fact it's been months since it was first proposed. While Tolarbagh provides a good model, it's important to remember that the outbreak has progressed aggressively since Tolarbagh days and community transmission is widespread. This means plans need to be revisited with newer … Continue reading Will “Tolarbagh Model” (Zonal Lockdown) Work for Bangladesh In Containing the Outbreak?
Published in Berkeley Public Policy Journal | April 22, 2020 Co-authored with Rifaiyat Mahbub Since the implementation of lockdowns in developing countries, debates have ensued on whether the poor will starve to death before the virus kills them. People are on the streets demanding the right to wages and food. In the US, a country with a much larger GDP … Continue reading Will Easing Social Distancing Save the Poor?
Published in The Daily Star | March 24, 2020 The World’s Most Densely Populated City is A Ticking Time Bomb in Our Race Against the Pandemic Growing up in a house composed of doctors and public health professionals, I am no stranger to dinner conversations quickly turning to blood, mucus and infectious diseases. In high population … Continue reading While the Coronavirus Does Not Discriminate, Health Systems Do
Rafia dreads going to her phone carrier’s customer service center. Her commute to work at the local clinic is roughly forty minutes, while she spends at least an hour and half, inclusive of traffic, in a public bus to reach the nearest center. In addition to standing in the bus in sweltering Dhaka summer, longer … Continue reading The Future of Digital is Human
Published in Huffington Post | December 06, 2017 Minutes before, the upscale restaurant had been brimming with life. “I was waiting for my food when they walked inside—barely a year or two older than me, wearing jeans and t-shirts. Within minutes they pointed their weapons at us, killed the foreigners and took us hostage,” says … Continue reading Inside Bangladesh’s Night of Terror
March 18, 2012 / The Daily Star As the floor mama insisted on switching off the multimedia projector, students were queuing in front of the computer, hurriedly plugging in their pen drives and copying the week’s lecture. I pushed past the queue in hopes of getting my USB drive plugged in – I had another … Continue reading Where have all the Projectors Gone
August 5, 2012 / The Daily Star I come from a family of doctors. This isn’t the typical family where your parents are doctors and you think you know all about medical science. In my family, everyone you can possibly imagine as part of the extended family and beyond is a doctor. It goes to … Continue reading Liberating the Liberal Arts