Shabera Khatun, Story from Dhaka
Say (O Muhammad pbuh), “I am only a man like you to whom has been revealed that your God is one God. So whoever would hope for the meeting with his Lord –let him do righteous work and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” (QS Al Kahf (18): 110).
Today’s story is narrated by Saima Hassan, Director-Development & Communications Inc. OBAT Helpers., Indianapolis to aMuslima. We hope you can place this story into your heart and remember that worldly matters are just that…
Many women in remote villages around the world lose their opportunities to be a talent, intelligence woman who can developed and useful for other people around her community. This is mainly due to family economic factor that require them to work prematurely.
Twenty year old Shabera lives in Geneva camp in Dhaka with her parents and two brothers. Her father drives a rickshaw for a living while her mother is a home-maker. Shabera’s older brother is a drug addict and only adds to the family’s mounting financial problems. The younger brother could only study up to grade four as the family could not afford to send him to school. The family dredged up some money which enabled Shabera to sit for her college exam. AWARD, a local nonprofit helped Shabera gain admission into college once the organization saw her great high school grades. Once her initial two years in college were over, Shabera wanted to pursue her education toward a professional degree. Common to the cultural of a poor, conservative family set up in that part of the world, her family did not want her to continue studying; they could not afford to educate her further, in any case. OBAT decided to support her education and she is now enrolled in the BBA program (Bachelors in Business Administration) at the University of Bangladesh. In her own words, “I didn’t ever think that I could be a student in a university. It is because of OBAT Helpers that I was able to continue my education. If they had not helped me, I could not have worked towards a graduate degree. It is because of Mr. Murtaza (Murtaza is the Finance Director at OBAT’s office in Bangladesh) that I found out about OBAT. He came to my house one day and told us about the organization. He made my family understand the importance of education and gave us hope. Really, all the staff of OBAT has helped me, for which I will always be grateful to them.”
As is the case in all families, there are a lot of ebbs and flows in Shabera’s household as well. Shabera handles them with aplomb and by working harder than before. She contributes to her father’s income by tutoring children. She also volunteers for OBAT and teaches Math at OBAT’s tutoring center. Shabera is very proud to be a part of OBAT and her family is really happy about the support they are receiving. According to her mother, “We are really grateful to OBAT Helpers. Without their help, my daughter could not have studied further. I hope that the organization is able to help other children who want to study, just the way they helped Shabera.” “
Below is some additional info about her.
“Shabera Khatun is a bright 22-year-old who lives in Geneva Camp.
She attends a highly prestigious university where, as an exceptional student, she was one of 50 students out of 50,000 to receive a scholarship. When she is not studying for her accounting degree, Shabera tutors 8th and 9th graders.
Shabera’s story is a testimony to her resilience. Her marriage was arranged at the age of 18 but she couldn’t let go of her dreams of attending University. OBAT Helpers learned of her situation and became determined to support her by persuading her parents to delay her marriage and allow her to continue schooling to become an accountant.
Now, with tears in his eyes, Shabera’s father confesses that he didn’t think all of her achievements were possible.”