By Staff Correspondent;
Dhaka – A book titled New Yorker Chithhi has hit the bookstores at the Amar Ekushe book-fair, the month-long annual largest gathering of publishers and book-lovers which is underway at the Dhaka University campus.
The book is a compilation of a series of letters presented by the writer sequentially to an unknown friend, who is understandably a politically conscious Bangladeshi national constantly keeping an eye on the global happenings.
A leading civil rights activist in New York, Kazi Fouzia, the writer, puts up her thoughts on the struggle of tens of thousands of migrants who travel to the United States of America from across the world.
The dreadful struggle that the border-crossing migrants face on their long and arduous journey for the “America dream,” but many perish or go simply missing on that travel have been featured mainly in the letters in succession published on the Dhaka-based online news portal newsnextbd.com between 2016 and 2019.
She has dedicated the book to those she has written about — the faceless thousands who either made it or did not in their “American Dream” journey.
The writer tried to portray whether the journey by these border-crossing section towards a dream America is really a dream or a mere illusion. She narrated the harrowing tales of some of the fortunate survivors, and their battle to get naturalized in the United States in a very simple and lucid Bangla. None of the characters in the book are fictional, they are very real.
It is clear from her writings that she has not forgotten her Bengali roots of passion and compassion, and she felt the pain of these faceless thousands from the depth of her heart. This is something all of us must appreciate as many just erase their links to the roots. Bravo Fouzia!
The writer was critical about the US administration, especially after assumption of President Donald J Trump in early 2017, for its anti-immigrant policy, spreading of Islamphobia and racism to alert the community and take to the street to fight back.
In one of her articles, she explained how the US spies victimize the migrants through its so-called “Sting Operations,” while in another letter she narrated how the Jews and Muslims stand united on the streets to protest against the systematic oppressions.
“This collection of letters is not merely a book; it is an account of struggles by a large section of migrants living in the United States. It is a unique book of history that will inspire the generations to take the lead into human endeavours for building a society free from all kinds of discrimination,” said Nazrul Islam, the editor of newsnextbd.com.
A total of 31 letters depicting from her personal experience to struggles, especially by the working class, were put together in the book published by Agamee Prakashani in February 2020.
A beautifully designed cover by Shafiq Shaheen portrayed the beaming neoclassical sculpture, Statue of Liberty, with seemingly a blue sky fading gradually into the dusty tone on its heel. Is it the fading “American Dream?”
The publisher, Osman Gani, who wished the books success, fixed its price at a nominal 400 taka in Bangladesh (ISBN 9789840424962) with copy rights owned by the author and newsnextbd.com.
The Bangladeshi-born US writer, Fouzia is basically a civil rights activist. Writing goes hand in hand with her activism as she notes down her experiences almost every day. The writer has been living in the United States since 2008.