Veteran journalist and Padma Shri, Dhirendra Nath Bezboruah today inaugurated a book titled “My African Sojourns: Nasim Ahmed in conversation with Swapnil Bharali”, an biographical work of former UN diplomat, Nasim Ahmed, at a glittering ceremony held at India Club, Guwahati. The book was inaugurated in the presence of Justice PG Agarwal, former judge of Gauhati High Court, novelist and bureaucrat Dhruba Hazarika and author Swapnil Bharali besides several guests and well-wishers. Ahmed is a retired former UNICEF worker who spent 17 years working in the strife-torn countries of Africa including Somalia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria and Kenya among others before finally retiring as Country Representative.
The book is a first person account of the various incidents and events that marked and shaped the career of Nasim Ahmed as a worker for peace and stability in the famine-struck countries of Africa. The passages of the book also contain accounts of an incident where Ahmed was kidnapped by Somali militia besides other interesting anecdotes of negotiations and deals struck with warlords in the diamond rich tracts of Sierra Leone. The book gives a great insight into the little known world of Africa. Ahmed narrated his stories to Swapnil Bharali who compiled everything into this book.
Speaking on the occasion, author Swapnil Bharali said, “The afternoon tennis fraternity of India Club took cognizance of the fact that our co-member, Nasim Ahmed had a story from his life in Africa at every adda that we had after our tennis sessions. The members felt that documenting these endearing anecdotes would be a good thing to do. I sat for around 15 narrations with Nasim Ahmed over a period of 3 months. That is how this book came into existence.”
Nasim Ahmed said, “I have never sought recognition in my life and only worked towards bringing a positive change in the lives of the poverty-stricken people of Africa. That was my job. But in the process, I had certain experiences that I felt should be documented. Since I am not a writer, I asked Swapnil to help out with the memoirs and today I am happy that he has done a good job of it. I also thank my publisher, Spectrum Publications, Panbazar, for taking such a keen interest in the project and delivering a fine book.”