Bangladesh Astronomical Association

ABOUT BAA (Bangladesh Astronomical Association)

Bangladesh Astronomical Association has started its journey in the year 1988 May 5. After attending a series of astronomy lectures in the Science Museum, Mash-hu-rul Amin and his other friends grew interested to buy a telescope. As telescopes were not really available in the market for sale as any other products those days and were rather expensive, Amin decided to form a club and raise funds to collect a telescope. Pretty soon, however, the narrow self-centered goal has been changed. Plan of buying a telescope has turned into a wider dream of spreading interest and knowledge of astronomy among the general public. BAA collect a telescope donated by Sajeda Amin & Syad Samiul Islam.

The first step towards this goal was the publication of the magazine Mohakash Barta. Even before forming BAA, Amin and his other friends had been working on a literary magazine. Thus, they had the experience necessary to bring out a magazine. At the same time, the people they had met during work on the literary magazine helped them a lot with funds and advertisements forMohakash Barta. Following publication of the magazine, BAA organized programs to spread awareness and interest about the association and their work. Initially, the programs were limited among known people.

Gradually, the turnout increased and their goal of reaching out to the general public was gradually being realized. The magazine started in broadsheet format but as name of the organization got around, they soon had enough funds to start printing it as a full-fledged magazine. At present, the high quality design and content of the magazine helps create an impression. This is possible for cooperation of Graphosman. They sponsor BAA for last 13th years.

1993 was the biggest turning point in the history of the Bangladesh Astronomical Association. The first advisor of BAA, Professor Abdul Jabber, passed away. BAA, decided to come out with an issue of Mohakash Bartabased completely on the late Professor`s life and activities. Professor Jabber`s interest and involvement in the activities of the association, drew attention and raise interest among some of the most renowned academicians of the country, such as Dr. Jamilur Reza Chowdhury, Dr. A. R. Khan, Md. Abdul Matin, Eradat Ullah Chowdhury, Shirin Hosain, Tubaishi Rubab and alike. The association managed to print a book by the late Professor Md. Abdul Jabbar, called "Tara-Porichiti". It is still considered the best book for amateur astronomers who are just beginning to take an interest about the night sky. At the same time, the association received a lot of support, financial and many other ways from the family of the deceased.

At present, the association is in an ascending speed. It organized many programs and events. For example, Tereshkova Festival in collaboration with the Russian Cultural Centre, to mark the 40 anniversary of the first voyage of a woman into the space. In the next January, they are planning Spacefest 2005, a 3 days long event that will consist of seminars, lectures, film shows as well as project work for the kids. Besides programs and publications of their own, BAA is now the official advisor for the design of the Vashani Novo Theatre.

The association is run completely by young volunteers and don`t have any hierarchical organizational structure.

By the time, BAA has received 12 telescopes, one of them from a non-resident Bangladeshi Sajeda Amin and her husband Syed Samiul Islam, and another from professor Dr. Muhammad Zafar Iqbal. In the near future, BAA plans on reaching out to schools and colleges outside of Dhaka, in the remote areas of the country as well as organize do-it-yourself science projects for children all over the country.

At the same time, BAA is also planning to start something new, ther than workshops and publications on astronomy. They have opened up the explorer wing of BAA, which will be responsible for arranging trekking trips to Chittagong Hill Tracts and other such areas.

In order to reach people, BAA also has a magazine called Dolchut meant especially for the popularization of the explorer`s wing.

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