On Shakib Al Hasan and the spirit of giving back in the season of charity
by RAEED ABD-ALLAH CHOWDHURY
April 21, 2022
Shakib Al Hasan, world’s number one cricket all-rounder launched the Friends and Heroes campaign in February of 2021, by putting a light on the Heroes of Friendship—the people in and around the organisation, working tirelessly for the betterment of marginalised communities in the remotest parts of Bangladesh.
Though the campaign launched at a time when vaccines were yet to be in clinics and infection numbers were still erratic, that philosophy of being together is still relevant today, especially during the month of Ramadan. The spirit of charity and empathy for those less fortunate is a core aspect of this holy month of fasting and prayer, though the duty of the haves to look after the have-nots is year-round.
“I believe I am among the very privileged few,” said Shakib, “and therefore there is a lot for me to give back to my community. Friendship stands beside marginalised and disadvantaged people to give them hope and make them self-reliant.”
Indeed, Ramadan is a good time to reflect on and be thankful for what one has. Muslims around the world fast from dawn to dusk to understand for a month what it is like to be deprived of meals. Muslims also traditionally engage in charity during the month. “I want to go back to the chars. If I can continue to assist those people, that would be a blessing for me. I thought that if I could be associated with such a venture, I might be able to learn a lot, and at the same time, hopefully, make a difference,” said Shakib, regarding his work with Friendship.
“It takes desire, dedication, and commitment to be a hero,” Shakib told GTV at the opening event. “I felt like we should stand by these heroes who are working day in and day out. I thought that if I can be the friend that the frontline heroes need, that would be a great achievement.”
As the long-awaited Eid holidays draw closer, people regardless of religion, ethnicity or social standing look forward to spending time with loved ones, in festive cheer. Perhaps that is why it is also the season of giving, as one’s own celebrations would be made so much richer by bringing smiles to the faces of those less fortunate—across social, geographic, circumstantial boundaries. The best celebrations are the most selfless ones. “I think that everyone has the will to do good things, and if each person does what is within their capacity, this can have a massive impact. The more we can work together, the more we increase our capacity to help people,” says Shakib Al Hasan.