Thursday, June 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

The enduring legacy of Kazi Shahid Ahmed

Kazi Shahid Ahmed’s presence in lives of people involved in institutions he created is gift that they will forever treasure

Update : 30 Aug 2023, 12:11 PM

With the passing of Kazi Shahid Ahmed, we have lost someone who was more than an individual; he was an institution unto himself. 

For most of my generation, he was the trendsetting editor who punctured mainstream Bangla journalism with a language that was both colloquial and urban. Ajker Kagoj, the newspaper that Shahid Ahmed founded in 1990, became the foundation on which today’s journalism thrives.

I got to know Mr Ahmed in person after joining ULAB as an adjunct faculty member. My status did not make me privy to any exclusive audience. But at many national or university-day events, Mr Ahmed would come and address the university that he had founded with a vision of keeping Bangladesh at its core.

The audacious manner in which he wielded words did not leave any room for pretence. In his speeches, he would reflect reality in a characteristic, unfiltered manner. His soldierly self would surface in the way he would tackle society's triumphs and tribulations with an unyielding gaze. And the best part was that he would do so with wit and humour.

As I took up a semi-permanent role at ULAB, I became aware of the vision with which Mr Ahmed had built a university. As a military officer turned entrepreneur, he knew that the country had been extremely generous to him. He wanted to reciprocate the gesture by creating an academic system that would spread liberal knowledge among the future stakeholders of the nation.

I admired him from a distance. From the photos that his family members shared, I realized that beneath the layers of achievement and success, he was, above all, a devoted family person. 

When his loving wife thanked him for a high window in their palatial Dhanmondi residence that opens up to the breeze and blaze of Krishnachura, I knew that his love for his family radiated in every interaction. He encouraged his three sons to get the best possible education abroad, making sure that they returned and continued to work for the betterment of Bangladesh. He had this rare ability to balance his demanding roles with quality time for his loved ones. 

The business venture that he created was tinged with the same kind of affection. Indeed, his presence in the lives of the people involved in the institutions that he created is a gift that they will forever treasure.

Prof Shamsad Mortuza is special adviser to Board of Trustees, ULAB

Timeline: Death of Kazi Shahid Ahmed
29 Aug 2023, 23:21
The enduring legacy of Kazi Shahid Ahmed
29 Aug 2023, 18:19
Top Brokers


Popular Links