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UEL Alumni Network event for Bangladeshi graduates

Syed Ali Tarek

The University of East London (UEL) Bangladesh Alumni Network UK held its annual London event at its Stratford campus on 20th November. This was an engaging and encouraging event which brought more than 50 UEL graduates, their family and friends together. All the major Bangladeshi community TV channels covered the event.

Officiating at the ceremony, Charlie Warrne, UEL Alumni Advancement Manager, emphasised the significance of the Alumni network and the importance of connecting with the University. She praised the efforts made by the organising committee in bringing together alumni across the spectrum of disciplines and ensuring its Bangladeshi ex-students remain connected to their roots. Charlie promised that the university will be soon be organising UEL’s first alumni event in Bangladesh in co-operation with the UEL Bangladesh Alumni Network (UELBAN).

Syed Ali Tarek, President of the UELBAN, emphasised on the importance of network building and encouraged every Bangladeshi graduate from UEL to make a contribution – regardless of their location – as that can inspire many more to be graduates. Creating a culture of sharing good practice among the network is a key to success, and he thanked everyone for contributing to the success of the event. He promised that planning for the Bangladesh Event 2017 has already started, and it will be on a larger canvass.

Guest speaker Mr. Ahmed Choudhury from Newham Council, who graduated from UEL in 2000, shared some inspiring stories and elaborated on how far-reaching the impact of this network will be in the future. Vice President Tojo Hossain shared his thoughts on how he has seen a once small group of graduates grow into a huge network.

UEL and UELBAN presented awards to encourage alumni activities throughout the UK, Bangladesh and beyond – and also to recognise alumni who are contributing to their communities and regions and internationally. They asked for nominations in three categories: Spirit of Sports, Volunteer of the Year and Significant Contribution to Society. Following a blind review process led by an independent award committee, the winners were announced.

Ayaz Karim received the “Spirit of Sports” award for his effortless contribution to cricket. As a captain, he has not only led his club Scintilla CC to be the champions in the National Cricket League, but also as a coach and mentor he has contributed to cricket at the grassroot level in Bangladesh. He is also the director of the Neo Cricket Academy (NCA), Chittagong.

The Volunteer of the Year award went to M Ershad U Bahar for his contribution to charity engagements.

Syed Ali Tarek was given the award of “Significant contribution to Society” for his selfless efforts in spreading disaster risk management awareness among the neediest people in Bangladesh. His award was also in recognition of his contribution to the UK education sector through his roles in quality assurance in the further education sector.

A reception, with refreshments, was held at the venue, and this was followed by a raffle. Live music was led by Bapita Bapi and Kazi Jasim Uddin. A captivating two hours of musical extravaganza ensured the event was an engaging one for everyone present. Event co-ordinator Shaha Riadh ensured the programme ran smoothly. The event concluded with cutting a cake and a photoshoot with all the members of the UEL Bangladesh Alumni Network (UELBAN).

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