Since I announced to the staff that I will be moving to Bangladesh, several of my co-workers have approached me in the hallway to tell me about something they heard on the news about the country.
Their heart is in the right place, but the way they say it – their tone of voice – they make it sound as if the country is devolving into chaos.
“Oh, I just heard something on the news about where you are going.” – said with a tone that gives away their subtext – “Are you sure you want to go there?”
It’s funny. Before we decided to go, I couldn’t tell you the last time I heard a news story about Bangladesh. In the last week or so the country WAS in the news. Here is what my co-workers were referencing.
- Dr. Yunus – the Bangladesh economist who received the Nobel Peace Prize for using microloans to help poor Bangladesh entrepreneurs break free from the cycle of debt and help raise the standard of living. Yeah, that guy. He was recently released from his post in the Grameen Bank because he turned 70. Naturally several people are upset about that, given his history – however, it does appear to be in the by-laws of the bank. There is also a hint of political gamesmanship since Dr. Yunus started a political party in opposition to the ruling political party.
- Bangladeshi workers in Libya were attacked (in Libya) and forced out of the country. The Bangladesh Embassy in Libya dragged their heels in repatriating them and after a huge ordeal (attacks by Libyan loyalists, looting, etc) they made it back home. They are asking for compensation from the government.
As you see relatively mild stuff – in light of recent events in Egypt and Libya and Wisconsin.