Tributes to a journalist-teacher

Mohammad Amjad Hossain | Published: October 26, 2018 20:43:45

Moyeenul Alam

It was a bolt from the blue to me, when I was speaking to Nargisul Alam, wife of Moyeenul Alam on October 9 in Toronto, Canada from Virginia, the USA, over telephone. I then learnt that Mr. Moyeenul Alam expired in June during last Ramadan. Possibly it was my mistake that I did not get in touch by then. He used to live in a two-room apartment of a senior citizen on the tenth floor overlooking the Toronto Bay on the northern shore of the Lake Toronto. Moyeenul did not feel like missing the glamour of the port city of Chattogram as he found the Ctg Bay in the Toronto Bay while watching it from his balcony.   We had been in constant touch since my last visit to his abode in the senior citizen apartment in Toronto in July of 2013. We had been excommunicado for about three months. Possibly we spoke last in May this year. It was a great loss to the journalistic circle in Bangladesh. His last contribution was to the Daily Azadi in Chattogram and the Naya Diganta in Dhaka.

Having joined the English daily Eastern Examiner of Chattogram as a subeditor in 1956, he switched to another English newspaper, Daily Unity of Chittagong, as its News Editor. Moyeenul Alam had shown his interest in serving the largest circulated but progressive Bengali newspaper Daily Ittefaq of Tofazzal Hossain alias Manik Miah in 1957. Moyeenul Alam had served in the Daily Ittefaq for about fifty years as its bureau chief from Chattogram plus its business representative and for a brief period the Pakistan Observer as its staff correspondent, when the Daily Ittefaq was closed down in June of 1969.

Moyeenul Alam had obtained a diploma degree in news editing from the International Press Institute in Zurich, Switzerland in 1964 while he obtained a certificate as a journalism trainer from the International Institute of Journalism in Berlin, Germany in 1985. Possibly Mr. Alam was the lone journalist from South Asia to cover the Reagan-Gorvachev summit in Washington, DC in 1987 while he was invited by the regime of President Ford under the US International Visitors Programme in 1975. Moyeenul Alam possibly was exceptional in journalism in Bangladesh who had the privilege to visit Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan and the Philippines. He also visited France at the invitation of Alliance Francaise in 1986. On top of these, Moyeenul Alam had the privilege to lecture students of journalism at different universities of the United States in 1975. Moyeenul Alam also visited Kuala Lumpur along with a Bangladesh press delegation in 1978 and this scribe was fortunate enough to receive the Bangladesh press delegation and organised a programme for them. As a Bangladesh diplomat this scribe hosted a dinner for them, wherein the then Deputy Information Minister of Malaysia was present, apart from a few editors of Malaysian news media.

During his journalism career, Moyeenul Alam came close to charismatic leader of Bangladesh Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. His six-point formula was projected first by Moyeenul Alam, when no member of Awami League was aware of it. Moyeenul did the publicity at the instruction of News Editor Serajuddin Hossain of the Daily Ittefaq. This writer came in contact with this legendary journalist in 1963 while serving the central news organisation of Radio Pakistan from Chattogram and contributed to his economic weekly: The Consumer Economist. Mr. Alam was the proprieter and Chief Editor of the weekly. Moyeenul Alam authored as many as a dozen books, including Ballads of a Bengali Belle and A Kite in the Azure plus translation of a book on poems and lyrics of Rabindranath Tagore. This writer was fortune enough to receive as many as three books as presents from Moyeenul Alam during a visit to Toronto in 2013. During the visit this scribe also discovered that Mr. Alam was a good painter.

Moyeenul Alam was the son of litterateur and journalist Mahbub Alam of Chattogram. He left behind his wife, two sons and two daughters to mourn his death as he expired at the age of 81. May his soul rest in peace.

Mohammad Amjad Hossain, retired diplomat and former President of Nova chapter of Toastmaster International club of America, writes from Virginia

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