by Priyanka Choudhury
She must be smiling from the heaven seeing the launching of Abinta Kabir Foundation, established by her mother and the best friend, to help underprivileged children get education.
Abinta is one of the victims of last year’s Holey Artisan Cafe attack. Preachers of radical Islamic terrorism wanted to silence our very own and loving Abinta alongwith some other. But how can they ever succeed, when Abinta Kabir is blessed with hundreds of friends and admirers, and a heroic mother who knows how to transform pains into power – the power that can be an example for everyone around?
I never met Abinta Kabir, nor do I know any of her family members. But to me, and millions of those, who confront religious hatred, Abinta is like the girl in the next window.
My father, Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is not only an internationally known award-winning journalist, but also a great thinker – a philosopher, and a lyricist. He always says, “Souls never die. Souls are eternal. Those who say, people die – are absolutely wrong. No one dies, Only souls leave the earthen body.” My father is absolutely correct! And of course, those who say, Abinta Kabir died on the fateful night of July 1, 2016 at Holey Artisan Cafe in Gulshan (Dhaka, Bangladesh) are wrong!
Abinta wrote, “I think, there are multiple authors to my story. My parents are the main author to my story. Without them I don’t think I would be the person I am today. My friends are also authors to my story, without them I wouldn’t have learnt how to be true to who I am.”
After reading these sentences over and over again, I discovered a kind, noble, angelic, powerful and extra-ordinary individual in Abinta Kabir.
Ruba Ahmed, the loving mother of Abinta, during the launching ceremony of Abinta Kabir Foundation said, ” My little angel is in heaven.”
Then she took a pause, as it felt, to stop herself from breaking down. The emotions and feeling for her only child left everyone in the audience into deep sadness.
Ruba Ahmed said, “You are my light, my moon. I count the days to meet you.” She said, “You (Abinta) are so wonderful to think of, but so hard to be without.” In one of her academic write-ups in 2015, Abinta said, “I believe that I do have responsibility for the greater community as a whole because I am part of a community where more than half of the people of a suffering from poverty and hunger.”
US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Marcia Stephens Bloom Bernicat said, “Abinta could have gone to do anything with her life that she chose to do. She had a drive to make the world and Bangladesh in particular a better place.” Yes, it indeed is our common responsibility to work in unison in making this world a better place. We must stay united against religious hatred, anti-Semitism, and radical Islamic terrorism.
To me, to members of my family, and the team of Weekly Blitz, Abinta Kabir (of Emory University in Atlanta) Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain (of Emory University), Tarishi Jain (student of the University of California, Berkeley), and all other victims of the Gulshan cafe massacre are important. So are those victims of radical Islamic terrorism around the world. Because, they remind us of our responsibility of confronting radical Islamic terrorism, anti-Semitism, and culture of hatred.
Special thanks to Ruba Ahmed, and Abinta’s family for launching Abinta Kabir Foundation. Those underprivileged children getting education through this foundation are Abintas. All of them certainly will say with pride – Long live Abinta Kabir!