Monday, January 23, 2023

Explore Beanibazar: Review

Emdad Rahman: The first viewing of “Explore Beanibazar” has been a resounding success as a capacity crowd flocked to watch the landmark heritage documentary.


The hour-long motion picture by journalist and film maker Foysol Mahmud saw hundreds of visitors’ flock to the Brady Arts Centre, Brick Lane to be a part of what has turned out to be a rather special and monumental occasion. 


Explore Beanibazar is the result of an individual’s passion to highlight the history, beauty, significance of this influential region of Bangladesh. 


Mahmud has painstakingly put together a great piece of film which will promote Beanibazar not only in a positive light but also serve as an invaluable resource for future generations, for natives as well as the expatriate community scattered all over the globe. 


The documentary has admittedly sparked lots of interest in heritage, history and is inspiring creative content related to Beanibazar. Young people from the diaspora community with roots in Bangladesh will take a keener interest in their customs, cultures, traditions and ancestry. 


Explore Beanibazar will help develop a sense of belonging and unity, for if we know our past, we can be confident in where we are heading. 


Heritage is invaluable, significant and hugely important to us all as human beings. It enables us to savour a golden past, enables us to glorify and enjoy in the present and then ultimately pass on to those who come after us.

Explore Beanibazar helps promote values through expression, brings worth and value to discussions, highlights our dreams and paints a vivid picture of how we have evolved throughout time.

This production sheds light on the past and through the mention of traditions and history it encourages the viewer to ask questions about the days of bygone, present and future as it helps instil a greater sense of awareness whilst stimulating thoughts and discussions on who we are and how we have come to be.

One cannot deny that our heritage is key in helping shape our view of the world as it influences the role we play within our respective communities.

Mahmud’s exceptional efforts will play a big role in encouraging communities to take a keener interest in the conservation of their rich heritage and even in Beanibazar itself, this will help with the development of uplifting neglected areas of the region as people review and reconnect with their roots.

Therefore, it is vital It is imperative that heritage and history is accredited and acknowledged in order to be enjoyed by those in the present as well as the future.

The event was a resounding success despite most of the visitors being unaccommodated due to venue capacity restrictions, meaning that the majority were unable to fit into the main viewing auditorium.


The spill over resulted in the foyer and reception area of the Brady Centre becoming full and with lots more people having to wait on the street outside. So popular was the launch that it is safe to say that a larger number of patrons visiting didn’t actually get to view Explore Beanibazar nor meet with the Director.


This should only be the beginning for this super project and I (amongst others) have made my recommendations to Foysol:


  • To further develop the film and add subtitles.
  • Organise a roadshow with Q&A session all over the UK and abroad
  • Launch an education programme in schools
  • Inspire and assist other Upazilas and regions to do the same for their diaspora


Hopefully this film will lead to more heritage projects blossoming, to raise awareness and inculcate a sense of belonging, especially for young people. 


Special guests on the night included Bangladeshi High Commissioner to the UK, Saida Muna Tasneem, Camden Mayor Nasim Ali and Speaker of Tower Hamlets Shafi Ahmed. 


Mahmud, the man behind “Explore Beanibazar” feels there is more to come. 


He said, “Heritage is beautiful and important for us all. I hope my humble efforts will spark discussions and encourage interest from not only my community, but others too.”


Beanibazar is a sub-district (Upazila) of the Sylhet District of Bangladesh. The region boasts a sizeable expatriate population, notably in the United Kingdom and United States. 


T W I T T  E R @emdad07

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Brilliant, Bullish Bishwanath are Record Breakers!

The class of Bishwanath 2022 have created history by winning the Greater Sylhet Upazila Cup at Mabley Green for a second time. 

With two standalone triumphs Bishwanath take over from the joint Osmani Nagar/Balagonj and Osmani Nagar teams at the top of the honours roll.

Bishwanath beat a gutsy Beanibazar team 4-1 in the final and were deserved winners with a string of outstanding performances from beginning to end. 

After being placed in the Group of Death Khalis Miah’s men navigated one of the toughest group stages ever by kicking off with a  0-0 draw with eventual semi finalists and two times champions Osmani Nagar. 

Jagannathpur were beaten 1-0 with a goal by Brummie Abul Kalam. 

Goals by Sajadul Hoque and Jahed Baksh in a 2-2 final group game draw against Moulvibazar were enough to send Bishwanath through to the knockout stages as group winners.

In the Quarter Finals Nobiganj were despatched easily. Goals from Shiblu Miah, Shozzad Ali, and Md Abul Kalam saw Bishwanath cruise into the semi finals with a resounding 3-0 win. 

Bishwanath were displaying attacking prowess seldom seen at this level. With knockout stages games being known for cautious and often dreary affairs, the squad were intent on upping the ante. 

The Semi Final was a foregone conclusion as a hat trick from Shazzad Ali, one goal from Syed Ali and a stupendous overhead kick from Sajjadul Haque ensured a 5-0 over previous cup winners Balagonj. 

Bishwanath were a raging bull by now, and even after having a man sent off against a brave Beanibazar team making their first final appearance, Khalis Miah’s charges were just too strong, comprehensively winning 4-1 with two goals by Shiblu Miah, Sadique Ali and Jahed Baksh. 

Speaking shortly after the final whistle Bishwanath manager Khalis said, “I’m just proud! Of the BSA management team, proud of my players and proud of this squad. 

“The boys followed my instructions to the letter and more, raising themselves and others around them. 

“Thank you to the BSA management, to all the players, to all the supporters (Bishwanathi and non Bishwanathis) for your faith and belief. The outstanding atmosphere created throughout, especially in the final was mesmerising.”

The trophy was presented to Bishwanath by Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman. 

Sonali Othith Chairman Jamal Uddin added, Bishwanath were amazing on the day. They deserve this trophy based on their strong performances from beginning to need. 

“Sonali Othith would like to commend Beanibazar for reaching the final for the first time and for helping creating such great memories.”

Bishwanath were emphatic all day and played a fiery brand of football not seen before in this prestigious tournament. On both occasions when they have won the Upazila Cup the team have played a scintillating pressing game, flair and charisma fused with supreme firepower. 

The knockout stages usually provide less adventure, tight, defensive encounters as teams resort to closing ranks, seek a goal on the counter attack, or turn to the lottery of a penalty shootout. 

This year was different with Bishwanath scoring twelve goals in the knockout stages alone. The 2022 final stands out as the greatest inUpazila Cup history. 

They are deserved winners who have set completely new standards and records for Britain’s most prestigious Bangladeshi football tournament.

My beloved Beanibazar were soundly beaten but we pay homage to worthy champions who have broken Upazila Cup records and set a new benchmark for this prestigious tournament.

We should all be very proud of an ageing Team BB who were exceptional in reaching the final. 

But fair is fair and Bishwanath were in a different league altogether. 

The plan of action at Bishwanath is focussed on the long term - Bring in fresh talent regularly, deploy a strong scouting team network to scour the whole country for footballers. 

In my first game as manager we faced Babul Bhai and Bishwanath in a friendly at Mabley Green. We won 4-0 and he explained to me that he was embarking on a mission to travel out and assemble a pool of the best players from all over the country. 

It’s all paid off!

The success of this requires commitment and dedication from a hardworking and effective board that support a manager to the hilt.

Other teams will be studying this copybook in the hood of emulating this winning formula. 

Up to this point and pound for pound this is the greatest team the Upazila Cup has produced. 

Twelve goals in the knockout stages alone is a new record. 

Bishwanath 2022

Khalis Miah - Manager

Mohammed Abdul Hoque - Assistant

1. Abdul Hussain (London)

2. Lokus Miah (London) (C)

3. Mohammed Rokib Ali (London)

4. Jahid Hasan Numan (London)

5. Abdul Kalam (Keighley)

6. Syed Ali (London)

7. Abdul Kalam (London) (VC)

8. Abdul Kalam (London)

9. Saddique Ali (London) 

10. Jahed Baksh (London)

11. Shozzad Ali (Coventry)

12. Rahmat Miah (Rochdale)

13. Shamim Noor (Coventry)

14. Md Abul Kalam (Birmingham)

15. Kabir Uddin (Birmingham)

16. Sazadul Haque (Rochdale)

17. Shiblu Miah (Luton)

18. Humayun Rashid Rubel (Birmingham)

Man of the tournament: Shiblu Miah

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Lonely Orphans Uyghur Blog - Day 2

We spent the day visiting Uyghur families resident in Istanbul and spending time with them. 

They are very humble people and many of the widows are doing an amazing job taking care of their young families.

Many families are very large and this is because of women adopting several orphans at a time. They are selfless and take excellent care of them. 

The family finances in all cases is threadbare but the mothers are proud people. The children are happy and the adults work around the clock to take care of their physical, social and emotional needs. 

Amongst the friends we met today was little Afifa, who is severely autistic. She was like a little angel, hugging and clapping hands. She rustled my beard and broke into fits of great laughter as she did so. I was happy to play the clown. 

Her mum told us that Afifa has a creative side and they both spend time on artistic activities each day. 

We thanked our hosts for enabling us the opportunity to spend time with them. We learnt a great deal about resilience and positivity in their presence. 

These are people who cope with their lot in life by helping others in the same or worse position to themselves. They are upbeat people and inherently believe in helping their fellow humans, whatever their circumstances are. 

The team at Lonely Orphans are working hard to provide support to the children and respite for the adults. 

If you’d like to support this important work please get in touch!

#lonelyorphans #thewanderinglondoner

Friday, June 24, 2022

Lonely Orphans Uyghur Blog - Day 1

We started the day with a visit to meet the superstars at the Lonely Orphans Montessori School. We were greeted by the staff and given a tour of the educational centre. 

We were granted an audience with the government designated child Psychologist and observed a play session with the children who were captivated by her interaction with them.

The public servant spent thirty minutes delivering a workshop using play and expression and explained that her interventions and support run parallel with the children’s general education.

Work with those more disadvantaged involves working with hyperactive youngsters, those with ADHD and dealing with anger management. 

The Lonely Orphans school offers a confidential space for all children to explore their feelings with a trusted adult and our insight into the community benefitted a great deal from observation of this session. 

The meet and greet involved a full flow Rubiks play session and workshop to encourage creativity, problem solving and using a fun activity to challenge and sharpen the mind. The kids paid good attention and enjoyed the colours, twists and turns involved in solving the most famous puzzle in the world. 

Next up was a picnic day trip to the open and green spaces at the Kemerburgaz Kent Ormanı. 

During a fun filled picnic event the children spent the day enjoying food, snacks, going for a walk, playing games, the adventure playground, horse rides and boat paddles.

At the Lonely Orphans School the quality of education and engagement is tremendous. The teachers and support staff are adept and at ease in exercising their duty of care, and there is a genuine atmosphere of love, care and compassion here. 

The behaviour of the children is exemplary. They are friendly and respectful, content and happy. 

About 50,000 Uyghurs are believed to reside in Turkey, the largest Uyghur diaspora outside Central Asia.

With the dedication and patience of the adults around them there is great hope that these young people will go on to make better lives for themselves and their community in the future. 

Thanks B and Aunt D for the treats!

Monday, June 13, 2022

Bilat Shaista’s Business Motivation!

A former boxer and an entrepreneur - an interesting mix but one that will resonate with many youngsters determined to forge a path through the dense forest of life. 

Bilat Shaista took inspiration from the life of Mike Tyson, and has used boxing to help him develop his character and shape his life, vision and goals. 

The entrepreneur and business management consultant has used his experiences to compose a book titled Business Motivation. 

Influenced by Iron Mike, Bilat offers bite size advice to highlight the importance of staying focussed and consistent to overcoming life obstacles, building better habits and achieving goals. He wrote the book to share his experiences and how discipline has helped him experience success. 

One of the first issues Bilat tackles is how to actively concentrate in a distracting world. He describes the brain as always being on duty, seeking to receive and absorb crucial information. 

The brain sifts through noise to determine what it wants to concentrate on, referred to as ‘selective attention.’

He lists strategies that can be used to mitigate the effects of being easily distracted. 

In essence, the more distractions there are, the easier it is to neglect actual work. Something as simple as the ping of a text message alert can lead the brain to assuming that the incoming information is critical and requires immediate attention. 

In our modern day the phone is frequently cited as one of the greatest diversion tools in our life. 

In terms of time management the book touches on aspects of the Pomadoro technique, Parkinson’s Law and Eat the Frog, which involves identifying the most critical task, tackling and aiming to complete it first thing in the morning. 

Productivity needn’t be time consuming and Bilat expertly cites how physical activity, sleep and small breaks can stimulate the brain and rejuvenate the mind in order to produce better results. 

Consistency is referred to as the key to personal achievement and a crucial tool and important factor in the success of businesses and goods. 

Bilat touches on the influence of the people we choose to be around, family, friends, colleagues, neighbours. The more closer they are, the more weight their opinions have on one’s life decisions. 

Rather than being overwhelmed on balance it is better to take their opinions in order to help research goals and achievements. 

Challenges and obstacles are described as opportunities to grow, though this requires hard work and effort to achievement and becoming a better person. 

Bilat has written a  book full of crucial tidbits and nuggets which allows the reader to digest at their own pace. The simple counselling he offers allows for the reader to choose as little or as much to adopt and put into practise. 

With a focus on using practise to overcome obstacles, being resilient and staying optimistic, Bilat’s words will be popular with a diverse group of readers. 

The true measure of success is dependent on how each and every obstacle is hurdled. The journey is never easy but being motivated when the chips are down will help turn seeming defeat into victory.

Thursday, June 09, 2022

Andy, Bailey and the Old Bill

“What are you two doing then?” enquired the nosy Policeman!”

“What does it look like,” I grunted, “two geezers having a natter inneh?”

“This is my mate Emz, and he shares free books and food,” said Andy. 

“If that’s alright with you?” I added. 

The long arm of the law looked at me funny. His two female colleagues looked slightly embarrassed. “Off you go now officer, there’s motorists out there for you to get your teeth into!”

He thought we were drug dealing of course!

Andy summed it up! “They see two dishevelled, hairy blokes, a homeless guy and a Muslim fella and they can’t help it - It’s called instant judgement.”

I told him I respect the Police a great deal but do pull them up if they fall short - Some of them just aren’t the brightest sparks. 

On the beat with East End Cycles and Docklands Football Club I got me a new buddy. 

Andy bought Bailey off a street beggar whilst he was barely a month old for £12. He had just left Pentonville Prison and after exchanging the fee and completing this unsusual transaction he saw the beggar buy a bottle of Baileys from the store - So he chose the name for his new pet friend. 

Bailey was taken to the vets who informed Andy that he was doped up on Valium so he wouldn’t cry out for his Mother. 

Homeless Andy weaned him off the Valium and at the same time he himself hasn’t touched any Class A drugs since. He had previously been on it for 15 years non stop. Andy contemplated suicide many times but says Bailey has given him purpose and a new lease of life. 

Andy loves reading biographies and I had one on Franklin Delano Roosevelt to share with him along with another one about Australia.

This was a chance meeting. I was setting up for a photo and Andy stopped by with Bailey to have a friendly chat. 

A London Assembly report estimated that the number of hidden homeless people could be up to 13 times higher than official figures.

Some of the friendliest people I have met live on the streets and have no material wealth. Many are however blessed with good manners and kindness in abundance. 

Through Bookbike London I have the pleasure of meeting such friends every day. 

#preventhomelessness #homeless #bookbikelondon #thewanderinglondoner 

#homerton #hackney #homelessness #homelesspeople 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Book Review: Prophet Ayyub - The Man Who Lost Everything


Within the story of Prophet Ayyub lies one of the greatest lessons in human sacrifice, gratitude, perseverance and recovery - All rolled into one. 

Using simple prose this book describes the life of Prophet Ayyub, how he was blessed with everything, and how he lost everything. 

The noble Prophet Ayyub was far and wide the greatest individual amongst his generation. He was revered as a humble and just leader and was blessed with wealth, health and prosperity. 

Through trials and tribulations Prophet Ayyub’s quality of life diminished and he lost everything, his wealth, children and then his health through a degenerative skin condition. 

His ever loyal wife Rahma was not allowed to work and support the family due to fear amongst the people that she would afflict the population with the disease her husband was living with. 

Prophet Ayyub persevered and did not waiver an iota. He remained steadfast and refused to curse his misfortune. His faith remained ardent, his feet firm and his conviction resolute. 

Prophet Ayyub prayed, “My Lord! Evil has touched me, And you are most merciful from those who show mercy.”

His prayers were answered and his fortunes once again changed for the better. 

The quality of rhyme used is fluent and hooks the reader right from the start. This is a must read for anyone and everyone. 

The multi talented Moudud Hussain has hit the ground running with his literary debut. The East Londoner engages the reader from beginning to end and the motivational benefits and inspiration are universal in value. 

Having read the text  I am pleased to say that although this is a children’s book, it is perfectly  tailored to benefit and bring great pleasure to everyone - The lessons of conviction, hope, patience and gratitude are universal values. 

With illustrations by my former student, the prodigiously gifted Zain Syed, I am delighted, yet not the least bit surprised to see his artistic talents beginning to shine. 

This is a superb piece of work, easy to understand and an excellent companion, to share with your class, enjoy as a family or just to read alone and contemplate.

Copies are scheduled for print this week so please keep a look out for updates. £4.99 gets you a hard copy and the e-book is available HERE. 

50% of the proceeds will support an orphanage in Bangladesh. 

I am content in the feeling that ‘Prophet Ayyub, the man who lost everything’ will provide guidance, pleasure and benefit to the reader. 

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Bosnia Blog - Day 2

A drive up the mountains was a new and very pleasant experience. The weather had turned and the biting cold was in stark contrast to yesterdays heatwave. 

We made our way up the winding roads with Samir, the senior volunteer who oversees the identification and distribution of cows to families. 

He stopped at a picturesque spot to point out his birth village in the distance. The view from the top was stunning.

The former German pro footballer then drove us to Gorazde and the river. The Drina is a 346 km long Balkans river, which forms a large portion of the border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia. It is the longest tributary of the Sava River and the longest karst river in the Dinaric Alps which belongs to the Danube river watershed. 

After enjoying the view we prayed at the beautiful Kayseri Camii Mosque before visiting Edin and his family of ten. Over the decades the clan have resisted pressure to leave their home and are seen as heroes. 

Their cow arrived this morning and is happy and healthy. Edin explained how the cow will completely change fortunes - It’s a game changer!

The team are promoting the Bosnia Widows Support initiative to assist the forgotten widows of Bosnia. 

These are women from rural communities who are greatly affected by poverty and we are gifting them a very small donation of £50 each. 

Please donate online and please Giftaid:

Zakat, Sadaqah & Lillah is accepted.

#Ramadan2022 #BosniaTrust #TheWanderingLondoner

Friday, April 15, 2022

Bosnia - Day 1

Our first port of call today was to meet Noura from Konjic Polge. 

She received a cow recently as part of the Bosnia Trust outreach programme. 

She is very fond of her precious ‘friend’ and has named her Sharinka, which means many colours

Noura has benefitted a great deal from this gift and we feel blessed to have met her today. 

We met the Muftis and Imams at the Memorial Centre in Srebrenica where we prayed Jumuah, performed Ziyarah and paid our respects to the dead. 

The Srebrenica massacre, also known as the Srebrenica genocide, was the July 1995 genocidal killing of more than 8,000 Bosniak Muslim men and boys in and around the town of Srebrenica during the Bosnian War.

The Srebrenica Memorial Center and Genocide Memorial, officially known as the Srebrenica–Potočari Memorial and Cemetery for the victims of the 1995 Genocide is the cemetery complex in Srebrenica for the victims. 

We visited Osman and who has had a cow for seven months and we were pleased to see that she has given birth to a healthy calf. 

Whilst in Burnace we also met Hayriya who has had her cow, fondly named Shara (many colours) for eight years. Shara is pregnant and this is great news to the family as it means that their livelihood will now increase significantly. 

We got to see their ten foot well too. 

We received a request for a fresh water well for a family in the countryside and very happy to share the good news that we have received a donation to cover the costs for this. 

Tomorrow will be a busier day. 

Sunday, January 23, 2022


Eight groups were involved in supporting this #homeless friend.

- Only A Pavement Away
- Humdum UK
- Docklands Football Club
- John Lewis & Partners
- London Enterprise Academy
- East End Cycles
- Victoria Park Community Centre
- #bookbikelondon

I had to prod him to make sure he wasn’t dead!

Partnerships are powerful!


Friday, December 31, 2021

Historic Craven Cottage - Home of Fulham FC

I’d been communicating with Ed for a while in anticipation of visiting this historic ground and taking part in the stadium tour of London’s oldest club.

I got there in the end and it was well worth the wait again. Fulham Football Club may be down the pecking order, what with the capital boasting an array of glitzy big name clubs but there’s no doubting the authenticity and feel of this iconic ground. 

Thanks to #bookbikelondon and my trusty Santander Cycle I was able to make it almost on time, dashing from Parsons Green and cycling through the ‘Green Mile’ across the lovely Bishops Park. 

At the Johnny Haynes statue I met with tour hosts Christian, Brendan and fellow guests, including Sunderland fans recovering from the League Cup beating from the night before at the Emirates. 

Johnny Haynes is unanimously accepted as the clubs greatest player. The stylish inside forward played 56 times for England, 22 games as captain. 

The ‘Maestro’ was a one club man who holds the all time appearance record and led the club scoring charts until Gordon Davies took overtook him during the end of the eighties. 

Pele described the Fulham legend as the best passer of the ball he’d ever seen.

We were treated to pitch side views and witnessed the impressive work taking place on the Riverside Stand and Development which will create a new, vibrant, modern, and outstanding riverfront destination. 

The Cottage itself is a true landmark and along with the Johnny Haynes Stand it is a designated Grade II listed building. It remains among the great sights in football and testament to Archibald Leitch’s workmanship. 

The Cottage Pavilion also includes the manager’s game day office, changing rooms, a restaurant and a balcony from where the more wealthy guests can enjoy the game.

We visited both home and away dressing rooms, and were reminded of the greats who had sat within them ahead of gracing the turf on a given matchday - Haynes, Bobby Moore, George Best, George Cohen and Edwin Van Der Sar. 

The small but classy VIP area was next and we were told the lounge had been refurbished at a cost of £1 million in he last few years. 

This is an authentic Stadium and even though it was empty the atmosphere felt like there was still a crowd inside. It’s tight and compact, it’s homely and charming. 

The tour commenced at a steady pace and the hosts are informative and easy to understand. This is important especially with the cosmopolitan population and make up of tourists who visit London. 

Both Christian and Brendan work very well together and are great ambassadors for the club. 

A productive visit ended with a #bookbikeondon share of Diego Mag too. 

You can book your tour of Craven Cottage online, over the phone on 0203 841 9057 or by emailing