2 Ramadan 1440
The man who gave me my name passed today.
When I lived in Cairo, Egyptians often asked me how I got my first name.
“You have an Arabic name, you know that?”
Actually, “How did you get your name?” is not a question I only got in Egypt. Egypt just came to mind first because it’s not here, and at this moment, I’m not sure I want to be where I am.
Ever since I was a kid, Arabs have asked me with pleasant surprise how I got my first name when they learn that I am not Arab, and when I pronounce my name as
My answer is that I have a Khalu, an uncle, who used to live in Kuwait.
He helped build that country, like so many Bangladeshi engineers who survived the war and were trained in Bangladesh, and who eventually decided to return to Bangladesh with his family and build up his own country.
He gave me my name because he heard the name while living in Kuwait, and he thought it was beautiful.
His own name, Abul Qasim Nur al-Absar, is also very beautiful. He expressed his love by creating, cooking, building, teaching, constructing, designing, giving.
Like bookshelves, kabobs, biryani, chips, children, living spaces, healthcare, chocolate milk, ice cream, hospitals.
The man who gave me my name passed and will be buried today.
He made it through the first day of Ramadan.
إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون