This is a photo of a public space in the cente...

This is a photo of a public space in the center of Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates on 27 December 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

bangladesh aerial photo 1

Abu Dhabi skyline

Abu Dhabi skyline (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the EFL 201  class of the winter quarter, in Michigan there were foreign students majority were Indians, couple of Pakistanis, a few Africans and myself.  The teacher was a very jovial person, past his 60s yet very curious.  He had learned that Bangladesh was under worst possible flooding that could be imagined.  Dhaka city was submerged, and flights had stopped taking on and off. That was the year  my family was shifting to Dhaka, finally from United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi to be precise.

We had gone out of the country in February 1975 and this was September 1988.  My father was in finance department of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, ADNOC; we had a very good life. Only thing is that we were not familiar with our country or its people. Yes we had relatives and friends but that was during our annual visit to Bangladesh.

This time my father had come to pick me up from Dubai International Airport,   he had sold his Chevrolet Citation; we used to love this car for it could easily reach 180km/hr on the Dubai- Abu Dhabi Highway.   As a student of Choueifat we had taken countless trips to different parts of Emirates on this wonder car.  Instead he had bought a Chevrolet Sprint. This was probably an indication, from 2800 cc V6 cylinder to 990 cc I3 cylinder.

I had dropped the summer course and decided to pay a visit to my parents in Abu Dhabi.  Little did I know that that was the last time I would be visiting my beloved land of Abu Dhabi. My land lady was some 80 plus year old women yet fully in sense. One day, she said some women called me up from Detroit Michigan. I called back and she had informed that a PTA, Prepaid Ticket Advice, was sent under my name and asked me to collect the tickets.

Soon, I started my journey to reach Detroit. We boarded the Greyhound bus service to Detroit via Chicago.  This time the journey was through Wisconsin. We passed through Milwaukee, Zilwaukee and then reached Chicago where I bade adieus to my friend Anwar Ahmed.

Dr. Francis Lide had asked me to explain the flooding process and the causes.  I knew that it was because of the Barrage that India had constructed to divert the natural flow of water to supply the port city of Calcutta. I tried to explain the reason that during the dry season the barrage withdrew the water and opened all the gates to flood the riparian region.

That particular year was an atypical one there was huge torrential rain and all the three major points where all the main Indian rivers entered the land of Bangladesh was experiencing terrible flooding. The barrage was wide open and that flooded the North West compounded by the water from the Easters side i.e. Assam the flow rate could not be held as result there was huge flooding and Dhaka city itself was under water.  Should India really start building the Tipai Mukh Dam?  I heard that there would be a lot of ecological damage to the indigenous Indians. Besides, that area is situated in the Earth Quake prone zone.