Student Book Pick: Rashed, My Friend

Moondil Jahan is a secondary labor student working in the Reference Department of Hutchins Library. As a part of her job, she assists students with their research, whether through walk-up service at the Reference Desk or via scheduled one-on-ones.

Reference Student Assistant Moondil Jahan's book pick of the month. Find it on the New Books shelf.

Reference Student Assistant Moondil Jahan’s book pick of the month. Find it on the New Books shelf.

Moondil wrote the following recommendation for one of her all-time favorite books, Rashed, My Friend:

Rashed, My Friend is an English translation of a Bangla novel Amar Bondhu Rashed, written by a renowned Bangladeshi author Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal. Amar Bondhu Rashed is a story of a little boy during the liberation war of Bangladesh in 1971. This book became so popular in Bangladesh that, Dr. Iqbal’s daughter, Yeshim Iqbal translated it in English so that the story can reach a wider audience.

I am an avid reader of Dr. Iqbal’s books as they are easy to read, and yet difficult to fathom the emotions one experiences as a reader. This book is no exception. Interestingly, although I have read almost all the books written by Dr. Iqbal, I cautiously avoided this book for a long time. I did not want to confront the emotions of frustration and despair while reading the tragic story of Rashed (name of the protagonist) during the liberation war of Bangladesh, a horrific time in the history of my homeland.

Dr. Iqbal has been asked many times in various interviews about the reason he wrote such a heart-breaking story. Although he writes primarily for children and a major portion of his books is based on humor, he wanted the young generation of Bangladesh to be familiar with the cruelty of war and genocide. In “Amar Bondhu Rashed,” it is the way Dr. Iqbal unfolds the story that mesmerizes the readers; a heart-wrenching story that introduces the readers to one example of countless sacrifices that Bangladeshis made while suffering through one of the most concentrated genocides of 20th century. Thanks to Yeshim Iqbal for translating the story in English. Rashed, My Friend will tell you a story of life, death, and beyond.

You can find Rashed, My Friend on the New Books shelf near Circulation.