|Intro||Bangladeshi scientist and writer|
|Is||Author Writer Science fiction writer Children's writer Scientist Physicist|
|From||Bangladesh Pakistan India|
|Birth||23 December 1952, Sylhet, Bangladesh|
Muhammed Zafar Iqbal ([muɦɔmmɔd dʒafor ikbal]; born 23 December 1952) is a Bangladeshi science fiction author, physicist, academic and activist. He is a professor of computer science and engineering at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology (SUST). As of January 2018, he is the head of Electrical and Electronic Engineering department.
Early life and education
Iqbal was born on 23 December 1952 in Sylhet of the then East Pakistan. His father, Faizur Rahman Ahmed, was a police officer who was killed in the Liberation War of Bangladesh. His mother was Ayesha Akhter Khatun. He spent his childhood in different parts of Bangladesh because of the transferring nature of his father's job. His elder brother, Humayun Ahmed, was a writer and filmmaker. His younger brother, Ahsan Habib, is a cartoonist who is serving as the editor of the satirical magazine, Unmad. He has three sisters - Sufia Haider, Momtaz Shahid and Rukhsana Ahmed.
Iqbal passed the SSC exam from Bogra Zilla School in 1968 and the HSC exam from Dhaka College in 1970. He earned his bachelor's in physics from the University of Dhaka in 1976 and then went to the University of Washington to earn his Ph.D. in 1982.
After obtaining his PhD degree, Iqbal worked as a post-doctoral researcher at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1983 to 1988 (mainly on Norman Bridge Laboratory of Physics). He then joined Bell Communications Research (Bellcore), a separate corporation from the Bell Labs (now Telcordia Technologies), as a research scientist. He left the institute in 1994.
Upon returning to Bangladesh, Iqbal joined the faculty of the CSE department at SUST.
Iqbal serves as the vice president of Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad committee. He played a leading role in founding the Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad and popularized mathematics among Bangladeshi youths at local and international level. In 2011, he won the Rotary SEED Award for his contribution in the field of education.
On 26 November 2013, Iqbal and his wife professor Haque applied for resignation soon after the university authority had postponed the combined admission test for the SUST and Jessore Science & Technology University. However they withdrew their resignation letters on the next day after the authority decided to go on with holding combined admission tests.
Iqbal started writing stories at a very early age. He wrote his first short story at the age of seven. While studying at the University of Dhaka, Iqbal's story "Copotronic Bhalobasha" (Copotronic Love) was published in Weekly Bichitra. Later he rewrote the story and published it as a collection of stories titled Copotronic Sukh Dukho.
Iqbal is known for his stance against Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and has spearheaded criticism of its leaders, several of whom were undergoing trial at the International Crimes Tribunal for their role in the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. Iqbal's father was allegedly killed by Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi. He came down heavily on a section of the media for their stand against holding the 10th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh on 5 January 2013, amid a boycott by the main opposition party, alleging that those who were calling for halting the electoral process were actually trying to ensure the participation of Jamaat-e-Islami in the election.
In support of the war crime trials carried out at the premises of the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh, he participated and featured prominently at the 2013 Shahbag protests.
Iqbal survived a stabbing attack in the head on 3 March 2018 in a prize giving ceremony in SUST campus in Sylhet. The attacker, a 25-year-old male, was arrested after he had been beaten by the students. The attacker claimed that he had tried to kill him because the attacker believed he was an "enemy of Islam".
Iqbal is one of the pioneers of science fiction in the Bengali language. He mainly writes for younger readers. He has also written several non-fiction books on physics and mathematics. He writes columns in mainstream newspapers regularly. Zafar Iqbal also writes storylines for the famous Bengali “Dhaka Comics.”
Some his famous books are “Amar Bondhu Rashed”, ”Ami Topu”, ”Ikarus”, ”Haat Kata Robin”, ”Sayra Scientist”, ”Gramer Nam Kakon Dubi”, etc.
Iqbal married Yasmeen Haque in 1978. She is currently the Dean of the Life Science Department and Professor of the Department of Physics at SUST. They have a son, Nabil Iqbal working as a scientist at Durham University and a daughter, Yeshim studying applied psychology at NYU, Steinhardt.
- Agrani Bank Shishu Shahitto Award (2001)
- Quazi Mahbubulla Zebunnesa Award (2002)
- Khalekdad Chowdhury Literary Award (2003)
- Sheltech Literary Award (2003)
- Uro Child Literary Award (2004)
- Md. Mudabber-Husne ara literary Award (2005)
- Marcantile Bank Ltd. Award (2005)
- One of the 10 living Eminent Bengali (2005)
- American Alumni Association Award (2005)
- Dhaka University Alumni Association Award (2005)
- Sylhet Naittamoncho Award (2005)
- Bangla Academy Literary Award (2005)
- Best Playwright Meril Prothom Alo Awards (2005)
- Uro Child Literary Award (2006)
- Rotary SEED Award (2011)
- National ICT Award (2017)