Knitting Memories of a Lifetime
Old and new alumni gather for a photo shoot. Photo Credit: Tasnim Twi
It was the year 1946, amidst the backdrop of a new world order, after the end of the Second World War and anti-imperialist movements in most parts of the developing world, the All-India Inter-University Board decided to introduce a new university discipline with the view to prepare skilled human resources in the subcontinent, primarily for diplomatic, political and international administrative and business services. Thus, the journey of the Department of International Relations at University of Dhaka (DUIR) began in July, 1947. The DUIR is the oldest of its kind in South Asia and since its inception; the department has been playing a significant role in the overall national development process of this region as international relation graduates are serving with distinction in the national and international civil service, non-government and private institutions and international agencies. It may sound strange but, despite being one of the oldest departments at University of Dhaka, the department did not have an active alumni association until recently. To bring all the old and fresh graduates from the department under one roof and to revive a strong sense of fraternity amongst the alumni members, the DUIR organised a grand reunion for all its alumni on Saturday, October 13, 2012.
Heavy downpours since morning or severe traffic jam on road nothing could refrain the DUIR graduates from gathering up on the green premises of Teachers Students Centre (TSC) of Dhaka University on the day of the grand reunion. Preparations were taken for months to make the programme a success. The turnout at the event was spectacular. Old friends got together and the old generation got an opportunity to connect with the new. The programme kicked-off with the rendition of IR theme song by Joy and Parvez, two graduates from the department who have also been popular as noted musicians. Later on, a documentary film about the history of the department was screened which made the audience reminisce their good old days in the department.
Masud Mobarak, a DUIR graduate from the 1975 batch was closely observing the photos exhibited in a corner of the TSC auditorium. “These photos are making me nostalgic. I can trace the faces of some of my friends from these photos who are no more in this world. However, I have also met a lot of friends with whom I had no contact for years. Plus, it is always pleasant to see the liveliness of the new generation of DUIR students. They have put up a great show through their singing, dancing and all other forms of jubilance,” says Mobarak.
Expressing his satisfaction over the success of the grand reunion programme, Dr Delawar Hossain, Chair, DUIR says, “It is really wonderful to observe a huge response from the alumni community to join this event. It actually shows that despite not having an active alumni association before, a greater DUIR family has always been there. We are proud to say that the DUIR is firmly based on strong traditions of quality, discipline and fairness, which has been the root of success of our graduates in society.”
As the sun dawned, the event concluded with the hope of meeting again. The participants left the campus of their beloved Alma Mater with memories that they would cherish for life.