Embodying a vision that extends beyond mere networking

Published: 6 March 2024

The Beautiful Ladies group, led by Misba Ahmed and Shayella Ahmed, stands as a beacon of empowerment and cultural
preservation. Their recent participation in the International Mother Language Day festivities and the subsequent celebration of International Women’s Day underscored their commitment to fostering mental wellbeing, providing empowerment opportunities, and safeguarding cultural heritage for future generations. Through their collective efforts, they exemplified solidarity and compassion, setting a remarkable precedent for community engagement and activism.

International Mother Language Day is part of a broader initiative aimed at promoting the preservation and protection of all languages spoken by people around the world, as endorsed by the UN General Assembly. This significant day occurs on the 21st of February, commemorating the struggle of the Bengalis in former East Bengal (now Bangladesh) for the
recognition of their Bengali language. The admin team recounts below:

Our activities comprised insightful discussions on the first-hand experiences encountered by our ancestors during the Bangladesh Independence War, along with engaging in recitations of poems and singing the Bangladeshi national anthem, as well as other patriotic songs such as “Amar Vaier Rokte Rangano” (penned by Abdul Gaffar Chowdhury and composed by Altaf Mahmud during the 1952 Bengali language movement). Additionally, we delved into discussions
on mental health and strategies to support individuals facing discrimination due to their mother languages. To honour the martyrs, we observed a moment of silence.

Furthermore, we recently celebrated International Women’s Day, recognising its utmost importance as a female-led and female-empowering group. To accommodate religious obligations during the Islamic Holy Month of Ramadan, which falls close to the traditional 8th March date, we chose to celebrate on 29th February. Collaborating with The Eastern Project, a sisters-only group, we organised an event where we acknowledged individuals within the community for their exceptional efforts in aiding vulnerable people, particularly SEN children.

These individuals were honoured with recognition awards in the form of floral bouquets. The celebration also featured poetry readings, musical performances, and storytelling sessions highlighting the narratives of resilient women who championed our rights. We concluded the day with a delightful one-dish party, savouring diverse flavours from all regions of Bangladesh.

Written by by Misba Ahmed