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Two American girls of Bangladeshi origin won the gold medal by making a project about the liberation war

Archita Shweta was born in Singapore. Rifaia Faisal’s United States. Although born in two countries, there is one thing in common. That is, their parents are Bangladeshis. They are currently ninth graders at Carmel High School in Indiana, USA. Recently, Archita and Rifaia won the gold medal by making a project on the great liberation war of Bangladesh, including the historic speech of the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman on March 7.

In this project titled ‘The Forgotten Genocide, Freedom Buried Under Blood: The Bangladesh Liberation War’, Archita and Rifaia presented various aspects of the Liberation War including Bangabandhu’s March 7 speech through sculptures. The pageant was hosted by the Indiana Historical Society.

Archita’s father Chandranath told Prothom Alo on WhatsApp that his daughter and Rifaia won gold medals in the regional competition. After that, they can participate in the national level competition if they get gold medals in various stages including state level.

According to Archita and Rifaia, their class teacher asked them to plan a ‘Turning Point in History’ as a group as a world history project, i.e. world history took a new turn under the leadership of a particular person (2023-24 school year). Later they presented the project in the US National History Day competition. It was recognized as an ‘exemplary’ project in almost every area of ​​the judges’ 8 different questions. At least 300 projects were presented in the competition.

According to family members, in 2011, when Archita was one and a half years old, Chandranath moved to the United States from Singapore. And Rifaia’s father, Abu Naser Faisal, went to the United States in the early nineties of the last century.

Although not born in Bangladesh, these two girls have their roots in Bangladesh according to their parents. They speak Bengali at home. They grew up listening to the stories of the liberation war from their parents.

Apart from the idea of ​​creating India-Pakistan after the British rule in the project of these two girls of Bangladeshi origin, there are differences in the thinking of the then East and West Pakistan, fifty-two language movements, fifty-four elections, the rights of the people of the then East Pakistan for decades – various demands, the six points of sixty-six, the mass uprising of seventy-nine. , Awami League’s huge victory under the leadership of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the 1970s elections, Bangabandhu’s historic speech on March 7, various aspects of the liberation war.

Archita and Rifaia said on WhatsApp that in this project, they have collected about 20 references including various books in the public library of the city including the library of Carmel High School, news of the liberation war printed in newspapers, and various photos of photojournalist Rashid Talukder. Directly interviewed the brave freedom fighter Hussain M Anwar living in the neighboring town of Fishers. Tajul Imam, a brave freedom fighter living in New York, was interviewed by Messenger. After working for about four months since last December, they first submitted the project to the class. They then present the project to judges at the regional scale (regional level) of the public library display and competition.

These two teenagers said that while doing this, they answered various questions from the judges after presenting the project. They get the opportunity to learn details about the liberation war of Bangladesh while doing this work, which is embedded in their minds. They are hopeful of going to the national level competition.

When asked about his father’s feelings on his daughter’s success, Chandranath told Prothom Alo that it is a big achievement for his daughter as a new generation of Bangladeshi origin in the United States. It is a great recognition to get a gold medal by representing the history of Bangladesh’s liberation war in their land, especially the United States, which opposed the independence of Bangladesh.