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Popular Bengali British writer Anwar Shahjahan


Anwar Shahjahan was born in 1973, in a noble Muslim family of Rayghor village, Dhakadakshin Union, Golapganj Upazila, Sylhet. His father is Haji Md. Abdul Mutlib and mother is Anjuman Ara Begum. He studied at Dakshin Rayghor Government Primary School in the same Upazila. Later in 1991, he passed his secondary education from Dhakadakshin Multi Letter High School and in 1993 he passed his higher secondary education from Dhakadakshin Degree College. After that, he was admitted to the same college but he moved to the United Kingdom in 1995 for higher education and betterment.

Anwar Shahjahan passed his Higher National Certificate from Leicester College and Higher National Diploma from the same college. After completing his graduation from New Buckinghamshire University, he is currently doing his MBA. Apart from this, he completed level-two and three in accounting from Kaplan. He is a Professional Member of the Chartered Management Institute (CMI).

He joined the journalism profession in 1991 while studying at Dhakadakshin Degree College, Sylhet. From 1991 to 1993, he served as the Sylhet correspondent of the Weekly Shubaicha published from Dhaka and at the same time as the Sylhet correspondent of the fortnightly All Time magazine. From 1991 to 1995, he served as Golapganj bureau chief of the daily Sylhet Bani newspaper and in 1993, he served as Golapganj correspondent of Daily Khabar published from Dhaka. After that, he published the monthly Janatar Michili newspaper under his editorship. He has been engaged in journalism for more than 30 years.

'Amader Golapganj', a quarterly magazine on history and heritage, has been published since 2014. He is the editor and publisher of the magazine. In addition to these, he is also working as a UK representative and contributor to various newspapers in Bangladesh.

After emigrating to the UK, he first published the fortnightly Prabas in 1995 and the monthly London Bichitra in 1997 in a joint venture with writer Faruque Ahmed. It was published regularly until 2000. He once served as the editor of the newspaper. From 2003 to 2010 he served as the editor of Banglalink.com, an online news portal. It was the first online Bengali news portal in Europe. Since 2010, he is still the editor of the popular Amader Protidin online news portal and has been serving as its chairman since its inception in 2018 when Jalalabad Online TV started operations.

He played a leading role in the establishment of the Golapganj Press Club in 1994 to advance journalism and literature in Golapganj. In 2006, he bought land for Golapganj Press Club with his funds and built a building there. Not only that, but he also introduced an award named 'Sylhet Press Club - Anwar Shahjahan Award' to encourage literary practice in 2019.

Nine historical books were published by Anwar Shahjahan. One of these is the history and tradition of Golapganj. Although it was published in 1996, it was the first written history book of Golapganj Upazila of Sylhet contains the history of Golapganj's religion and philosophy, education, literature and culture, language movement, history of the Great War of Independence, as well as numerous documents and information collected from various newspapers from the British rule to recent times. The revised first edition of the book was published in 2015.

Among the literary works written by him, the most readable book is Bir MuktiJoddha, which was awarded the title of Independence War. It was published in two volumes of 756 pages in 2016 and 2017 with the biographies of heroic freedom fighters who received state titles in the Great Liberation War and their stories of heroism in the liberation war. In this book, according to the gazette notification number of the Ministry of Defence of Bangladesh on December 15, 1973, 7 Bir Shrestha, 68 Bir-Uttam, 175 Bir Bikram and 426 Bir Prateek and the exciting events of the Liberation War have been recorded. The book has entered history as a unique document of the two great wars of independence. Anwar Shahjahan's other books include Sylhet's Titled Freedom Fighters (2018); A comprehensive book on the Liberation War Memorials and Monuments in four districts of Sylhet Liberation War Memorials and Monuments in Sylhet (2018); and after becoming an expatriate in the United Kingdom, he presented the art-literature-culture and life of the expatriates in the country in the book "Days of Abroad and Other Contexts" (1995). In this book, he has captured the social picture of Britain at that time in a perfect picture.

Anwar Shahjahan's latest book is “Corona Athanko Deshe Deshe” (2021). In this book published during the worst corona epidemic of the 21st century, he has highlighted the activities of the governments of Britain and various countries and the critical situation in the whole world, including Bangladeshis affected by corona. The author along with his family members has described in detail how he returned from Death Valley after being infected with Corona.

He also translated some of his books into the English language. They are Gallantry award recipient freedom fighters of Sylhet (2021), Monuments and Memorials of Bangladesh Liberation War: Sylhet Division (2022), and History & Heritage of Golapganj (2022).

He has edited many books and periodicals since his student days. Notable among them are Madhyahner Kolahal (1993), Kajan Kritisantaan (1994) and Shomoyer shastra chora (1995).

Apart from journalism and writing, he is also known as an educationist. He has been continuously working for the expansion and development of education in Golapganj for almost three decades. He established 'Anwar Shahjahan Primary School' in 2009 in Amura Union of Golapganj with his initiative. Along with this, he has been making an important contribution to improving the quality of education of the students of Golapganj and Sylhet by providing various scholarships. Notable among these are Pioneer Primary Scholarship Exam 92, Abdul Matin Memorial Scholarship 93 and Dhaka South Welfare Association (UK) Scholarship. Apart from this, through the Abdul Mutlib Welfare Trust established in the name of his late father, he is providing education, treatment, and food distribution for the helpless and distressed people and building houses for the homeless.

He is known as a philanthropist in his native area. The partial land donor of Golapganj Government Technical School and College, Dharabohor and Muradia Saburia High School of Lakshmipasha by donating land and became a lifetime donor member. At the same time, he has been providing one-time and regular financial support to many places of worship and educational institutions in the area.

Anwar Shahjahan is a thoroughly organized person. Involvement with various organizations enriched his career. From 1990 to 1995 he served first as general secretary and later as president of Golapganj's Rayghor Augrogami Jubo Songo. Then from 1992 to 1995, the founding president of Probaho Sahitya Sangsad; From 1992 to 1995, Anupras served as the General Secretary of Golapganj Thana Branch and from 1993 to 1995 as the Convenor of Chader Hat Golapganj Thana Branch of the National Children and Adolescent Organization.

After moving to the United Kingdom, he served as the co-editor of the Sylhet Division Development Council in Britain, the founding member of Golapganj Helping Hands, a larger organization of Golapganj Upazila residents, and also served as the former vice president and advisor. He is one of the founder members secretary and general secretary of Golapganj Upazila Social Trust UK, a charity register organization established for the Golapganj community in Britain and he is serving as the treasurer of the Sommilito Sahitya o Sangskritik Parishad Juktorajya. Sommilito Sahitya o Sangskritik Parishad Juktorajya has been organizing the Bangladesh Book Fair and Sahitya & Sanskritik Utsav jointly with the Bangladesh Ministry of Culture and Bangla Academy in London since 2009.

He has been a member of the London Bangla Press Club since 2012 and has been elected as a member of the EC Committee since 2022.

Anwar Shahjahan is the father of four children. His first son Tanvir Shahjahan graduated in law and is currently running his own business in the edTech industry. Apart from this, he is involved in the writing and journalism profession and is also a Local Governor. Second son Sabbir Shahjahan is also working after graduation in law. Daughters Afsana Shahjahan and Tayyibah Shahjahan are studying A-level and seventh year respectively. His wife Nasrin Shahjahan is a social activist. She also served as a school governor.

Anwar Shahjahan has been awarded various honours and awards in recognition of his writings and work.