Being bedridden for well over a year and then having to deal with intense chemotherapy, several blood transfusions, and limited mobility would probably have broken many – but not Ahmed. From his bed he continued to read (boy did he read!) and write and teach. He would edit papers online and submit abstracts for conferences. Even though he was unable to travel, he was able to present virtually – and eventually he was well enough to travel and present at a conference in Thailand. He even managed to publish a short story in an anthology: The Rogue’s Gallery . He struggled through his physiotherapy and while the therapists were helping him learn how to walk again, he decided to help them improve their English so that they could pursue further studies and continue to advance in their careers.
That type of dedication sums up my brother. He was on the quiet side, but when he had something to say, it meant something. He valued good relationships and really was a wonderful friend to many around the world.
There really are so many things I could say about my brother Ahmed, but if there was one main characteristic that I think most would associate with him, it would be his passion for reading and storytelling. Not only did he read for enjoyment and knowledge, but he vehemently encouraged others to read as well.
It is the strong connection between reading and Ahmed that his friends from IUB (International University Bremen, now Jacobs University Bremen) decided they wanted to raise funds to have a reading bench in his name on their campus. Our first choice is to have the bench on his university campus in Bremen. We are still waiting for approval from the administration. If for some reason it does not come through, we will put up a memorial bench in a park near our house in London. Any additional funds that are raised will be donated to a literacy program in Bangladesh.
We (Ahmed’s family) were incredibly touched by the hundreds of warm messages about Ahmed that came our way. It tugs at our heartstrings to think that he is no longer with us. However, we greatly appreciate the outreach of love, support, and prayers.
In the words of Ahmed, “Read, people!”
May 14, 1984 – June 5, 2017
- Keka Mukhopadhyay
- Keka Mukhopadhyay
- Sharmila Ray
- Karin Dickerson
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