23.9.06

jai Gaibandha (i'm off)

Armed with my maps (ooooh that was a time consuming aquisition) and a gps, I spent the past ~7 days in Gaibandha, 'ganj-tripping'. Covered the required ground, albeit on very slow forms of transport and in the wet. this area isnt so affected by the main branch of the jamuna, it tends to get the smaller threads(ulnike further south), which you'd expect would make it easier to control. NOT REALLY. next time im there it will get juicy as I get my self up the noses of the engineers and politicians.

I went to Juma in the field yesterday, a small tin shed of a mosq on an alluvial island, that had been moved several times over the past five years. These folks were not as isolated from the riverbank as most, because the government had built an embankment-cum-road connecting it to the mainland

The flood was mud with sack covering, and soft to kneel on, very kneelable indeed. There was a line from the khutbah that struck me particularly,as the gale outside squeesed through the holes in the corrugated tin. It went along the lines of 'Every day we are getting closer to Allah'.

Ive learnt heaps from all the schools, mosques and madrassas ive seen over the passed months (100+), about community, relocation, cultural reproduction and the general islamic flavourings of communities in desh. This might sound very unlike me, but...I can't wait to analyse this data and get onto the second stage.

Establishing madrassas(READ EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION) is a part of the natural philanthopic urge of Muslim societies. A family with a the resourecs and status willset up a mosque, plan for a madrassa (ebtedai (that is hybrid), or hafizia(learning the whole quran), plan for an etimkhana (orphanage). How far they get on this plan depends on how well they do monetarily their organisiational and intellectual ability.

Yes, i just used the 'i' word to give a sense of the partiallysighted leading the not-yet-even-partially-sighted.

The 'alarming growth' of madrassas that bingos harp on about, is probably more to do with the improvement of peoples wellfare to the point where they can organise their own institutions, with their own valued character. If they cant get further than a mosque, they make do with a maktab arrangement in the mornings after fajr to impart the basics of religion to their kids. Also, a lot of these institutions probably already existed but were not registered with government.

Ok, its not islamic renaissance, in the 16th Century AH ummahtic detonation wavefunction sense (the madrassa detractors im on about arent interested in that anyway), but there are quality mutlifunctional people with an islamic world view emerging from these places. Its in the alignment of the well resourced that the 'Envelope' will be extended, it would be foolish to expect otherwise.

Diversity in education is the way forward. and ongoing support, communication and synthesis between the flavours... Islamic, English and Bangla mediums.

Thursday was lost to a simultaneous storm and strike by the Awami league. Oooh well at least i did some writing and planning. Little inconveniences like rain, dumb power boards and crap roads affect locals far more boneshakingly. Many hundreds of families lost their only bread winner as tons of fishermens trawlers got caught in the depression in the bay of bengal. I dread to think how much potential advancement has been frustrated by the crapness of the road from Ullobazar to Shaggata. The crapness of the road can be attributed, apparently to the local MP. Her goons were not getting the contract so she directed 'development' elsewhere.

Now I'm back in Bogra, waiting for Ramadan totake a hold of me and polishing of 3 small, but probably institutionally rich areas before heading back to the capital. Have been watching too much TV(at least when ther was electricity at the hotel, i shall leave the story of the kanjos hotelier-engineer for another day, mosquitos are biting), some of it surreal.

'Almost Famous' is one of my favourite 70's rock road movies, it was on some random star movies channel the other night. hearing alvin and theodore the chipmunks and simlutaneously seeing arabic usbtitles was very very odd. what a sad life i..

oh, had a rather interesting journey home last night, several miles walk along the dark, rainy windy river side through bogged roads, with pretty much all my data on my person followed by dodjy rickshaw ride, followed by dodjy driver of a 4x4 microbus giving us a lift to earn some extra cash .



Thankyou Gaibandha for not bumraping me. Thankyou nokia for having very bright mobile phone sreens.

off now, Salaam, ... i wonder if this will publish.

2 comments:

nai said...

Ramadhan Kareem

Anonymous said...

oh never say never, if not now maybe some day soon you'll get bumraped!