Muhammed Shahed Rahman : On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Victory of Bangladesh and the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the unveiling of photographer Abul Lais Shyamal’s “Bangladesh 50” album was held on 22 December in a community venue in East London organised by the London based Swadhinata Trust.
Chief guest Cllr Ahbab Hossain, Speaker of Tower Hamlets Council, unveiled the cover of the “Bangladesh 50” photo album at the event conducted by Mafijur Rab, nephew of photographer Abul Lais Shyamal.
Speaker Ahbab Hussain said that the independence of Bangladesh was a long drawn struggle led by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Bangladesh’s independence came at a heavy price of 3 million martyrs and the abuse of 200,000 women. Bangladesh’s independence came at the cost of the sacrifices of Bengal’s peasant workers, teachers, doctors, cultural activists, journalists and intellectuals. There are countless people like photojournalist Abul Lais Shyamal who contributed towards our independence. We are proud of his work.
The photo album “Bangladesh 50” published with photographs taken from 1969 to 1972, was highly appreciated by the guests and the participants.
Others who spoke on the occasion were Ansar Ahmad Ullah of Swadhinata Trust, President of 101 Club Zakir Khan, Swadhinata Trust President Julie Begum, journalist Nazrul Islam Bashon and Abul Lais Shyamal’s niece Jhorna Choudhury.
Abul Sayem, son of photojournalist Abul Lais Shyamal, gave the vote of thanks on the occasion. Earlier, he showed a video message from his father sent from America. Abul Lais Shyamal dedicated his book to all freedom fighters and martyrs in that message. At the end, the guests were treated to refreshments from Sonargaon, the event’s sponsor.
It should be mentioned photographer Abul Lais Shyamal graduated from Sylhet in 1989 and became involved in photojournalism. At that time, he worked for Purbodesh and Gonokantho, published from Dhaka and was a staff photographer for the daily Jugabheri published from Sylhet.
During 1971 he took many pictures of the War of Liberation from March to December 1971. Those rare pictures have been included in the book and are now witnesses of history.