Surviving Covid-19 Gratitude Dominates Friends’ Party with Tower Hamlets Council Speaker
By Shofi Ahmed
Gestures of gratitude to Allah SWT for being alive, surviving the devastating Covid-19 pandemic, dominated a friendly Eid union gathering with the Speaker of the Tower Hamlets Council, Cllr Mohammed Ahbab Hossain recently in Lime Grill Restaurant, Limehouse east London. The group also gave a floral reception to friend Councillor Mr Hossain who was recently elected as the LBTH Speaker for the second term.
Several speakers in the gathering suffered from Covid-19. Some caught the bug along with their families and some even lost their family members. That includes Mr Hossain along with his wife they were tested Covid positive in early Ramadan. The gathering solemnly remembered and made dua for the family members and friends they have lost due to the pandemic.
The friends play together. Formed a Badminton Club but the narrative doesn’t end in the playground. Often they can be seen resonant with forward thinking community chats on their dining tables. Sometimes that results in impressive actions. For example the group is involved with various charities. Among that is a Ramadan water project. That is being set up to distribute tens of thousands of water bottles across Tower Hamlets mosques in every blessed month of Ramadan. It’s one of the largest of its kind in Tower Hamlets.
Covid-19 is unforgettable. If not changed it has immensely influenced many thoughtful perceptions of the world around us. It’s a strange world we live in. Expanding into a finer digital world. For the common minds that could be interpreted that the world renews where it seems to end. Folks who are into this technically charismatic digital world. Indeed talismanic – for many of us that have yet to grasp the digital mania. Indulge in buying some digital art sold for as much as $69 million. It’s never heard of in history but now it’s a reality.
More so, before many of us get our grasp, debunking the hunk digital mania it will be a different world. The virtual world is fast becoming a reality. It’s not a far cry from now when 5G surgery will be done from miles away. Nonetheless, Covid-19 has shown the world that it can bump on a double whammy. Roam into a digital and virtual reality world beyond our wildest dreams. But reality is still as old as time. It’s simple yet sharp. It’s hard. It couldn’t be a bigger world but just a coronavirus bug in the air has pushed us all back into home. The Kings, Queens, Heads of the States, presidents, prime ministers, scientists, tycoons, celebrities, no one is spared.
The speakers at the event, among them author, poet, journalist and Bangla Mirror founder Shofi Ahmed, community activists Sunahor Ali Rinku, Bodruzzaman Babul, Warris Uddin, Sadequl Amin, Abdus Salam, Helal Uddin, Ali Ahmed Azad, Ripon Chowdhury, Noman Chowdhury, Emdad Rahman, Hasan Uddin, Shomsu Miah, Ashraf went on and zoomed into some of the high points reached by LBTH Speaker Mr Hossain. He got hold of his political rope since student days back in Bangladesh. Then he rose to the position of District Chatro League Joint Secretary and studied at Modon Mohon College in Sylhet.
He was instrumental in lighting up Canary Wharf’s tallest skyscraper in red and blue, reflecting the flag of Bangladesh. It was part of a nine month celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Bangladesh’s Independence, organised by Bangladesh High Commission London. He also organised Tower Hamlets interfaith Covid-19 prayers. More joys were waiting for him. That he found when, he said, some elderly locals in the lockdown called for help. Then they saw him knocking on their doors with some shopping.
Shofi Ahmed is an author, poet, journalist and former editor of Bangla Mirror newspaper