Two of the three Bangladeshi nationals, who were killed in Friday’s terror attack in a restaurant in Dhaka’s upmarket Gulshan area, are scions of powerful business families in Dhaka. The other person, Ishrat Akhond, was a well-known promoter of art and was attached to many art curating institutes and cultural centres.
“Chase your passion not your pension,” is a quote that Akhond used in one of her recent blog postings. Her friends in Dhaka told The Hindu that the 45-year-old art promoter was one of the “vibrant and key characters” in Dhaka’s fast developing art circuit.
Ever smiling, deeply satisfied
“I wrote about her on social media … I said, among so many ever frustrated and disenchanted young people she was such an exception. She was an ever smiling, deeply satisfied soul, spreading only happiness and positivity. She was a dear friend, who used to work closely with the young artists and was very proud of the quality of the work done by them,” said Nobonita Chowdhury, a former journalist of BBC World Service based in Dhaka. Akhond was associated with Institute of Asian Creatives (IAC) and Dhaka Art Centre and few other institutions curating modern art.
The two other young students killed in Friday’s attack are Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain and Abinta Kabir. 20-year-old Hossain was the grandson of Latifur Rahman, chairman of one of the most well diversified Transcom Group which owns leading newspapers and television channel in Bangladesh. The group directly owns many companies associated in distributing products of multinationals in Bangladesh and works with many Indian and international companies.
Sources in the police told The Hindu that Hossain went to the Holey Artisan Bakery, the popular hangout which came under attack, with two of his friends on Friday night. Hossain, who drove to the café with his friends, was a student of Atlanta-based Emory University.
The other Bangladeshi national, Abinta Kabir, who was killed in Friday’s attack, was also a student of the same university. A statement by the university acknowledged that Kabir and Hossain were studying in various colleges of the university.
She was a rising sophomore
“Abinta, who was from Miami, was a rising sophomore at Emroy’s Oxford College. Faraaz, a junior from Dhaka, was a graduate of Oxford College and a student at the university’s Goizueta Business School,” the Emory University statement said.
Kabir’s family owns one of the largest retail outlets of Dhaka, Lavender Super Store, while her mother is the owner of Elegant Group, which is a large business conglomerate with investments in textile and apparels. The family also owns a prominent art gallery in the city.