When you are a Muslim Bangladeshi passport holder

So many things have happened last few months. Some were okay and some kinda made me broken. I don’t know where to start, but I do know that for a long time, I don’t remember the feeling of inner peace. Even when something good happens it comes to me with lots of work and pressure afterwards.

It all began on December, 23rd. I think I’ve mentioned before I have a freaking good memory about life events, that’s why I am so exact about the date. My professor told me China University of Mining and Technology & our university, is arranging some international workshops, and the first one would be in China. So, he was asking if I can go with our lab team in China. Well, only a fool refuses this kinda opportunity, which I am not so I agreed. And I started taking preparation too. But for no reason at all, all of my lab mates were able to get visa except me.

There were no statement from them about the reason of visa rejection, but I guessed it’s because of my hijab, it’s because I am from a 3rd world country, where suddenly terrorist attack started taking place more than ever.

Well, I couldn’t take it really well. I have always been afraid of falling apart, being left alone. Like this, you know! All my lab mates went but me. Anyways, my Professor is wonderful person, as I said before. When this happened, he tried to comfort me and he offered that, there’s a conference in March, in Singapore, he wants me to take there. Few days ago before all that, I made some progress with my research work. So, the next few days I spent writing my work in journal paper format so I can submit and later present that in the conference.

The last month went being busy with working on the journal paper. The good news is it got accepted! I am really happy! This is gonna be my first international Sci paper, and the topic is exactly what my Professor wanted from the beginning. 😀 For the first time, it felt like I am giving some work to my Professor finally!

But writing a paper and checking up with the conference in the same time is not quite easy. As I said before, this is my first time. The conference systems are kinda messed up, so I always get confused about everything. Even a week ago, while we were on a vacation, I had to work then. So yeah, the vacation didn’t really feel like a vacation. It’s like I’m always checking and replying mail now-a-days. 😦

My husband says, if you want a good work, you have to put effort to it. So, take it easy. But truth is I’m not half as strong as him. :/ So, I am not doing well. I always feel tired. And when it’s time to take rest I can’t even do that. Even in dreams all I see about paper and conference. lol 😉

And the most frustrating thing is, now I always have to be in fear about visiting other countries. The international workshop this time is going to take place in Australia. But, after the last time my Professor really is confused about me. So, he keeps telling me please find out if there’s any restriction for you to visit Singapore and from last week Australia was added to this query.

I absolutely understand his concern. But this fear thing is really putting a lot of pressure to me. Things are certainly different for 3rd world countries. But things are even more different for 3rd world Muslim countries. I guess USA election and their new President’s policy, is a huge influence on this matters. After all, a big portion of the world believe all Muslims are terrorist.

Well, I didn’t know how to start, I don’t know how to finish the article. Most of my days goes by checking with conference and embassies now. Pathetic, isn’t it? Please keep me in your prayers that at least I could go to Singapore and present my work in the conference.

Best wishes!

-Munira Chowdhury, 06/02/17

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