Tahmid Zawad

Tue May 26 2020 04:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)

43977TZa

“Since graduating college, I’ve been struggling with imposter-syndrome. I had no clear sense of direction in my life, although I knew I wanted to pursue medicine. The pressure of wanting to make something of myself before my parents grew older left me in a dark place of self-doubt and fear of being exposed as an incompetent person. Everyone around me just seemed to have things figured out, whereas I felt left behind. Despite my internal strife, I persisted and refused to fall victim to the uncertainty of the future.

Born in Dhaka and coming to the US as an infant, I didn’t have the opportunity of tasting my culture first-hand and connecting with my roots until later in life. Growing up in a predominantly Latino and Jewish community, I never had many Bangladeshi friends. I was the only Deshi kid on the block and kids would mock me. I had no connection to my culture and no one to speak Bangla with besides my parents.

Visiting BD after a long time, I felt a connection that I never felt before. Initially scoffing at the idea of going, I realized touring Bangabondhu Memorial was a huge turning point for me. Images of massacred people on rickshaws and bloodshed from war left me with so many questions. It prompted me to explore my nation’s history and learn of the suffering my people endured for the past 50 years. I decided to do a capstone project on the liberation movement and raise awareness on the forgotten genocide.

My journey to further connect with my roots led me to Bangladesh Development Project (BDP). As CEO, I knew my purpose and happily embodied the tiger in me. Growing BDP was based on my aspirations to practice medicine holistically. Interning at icddr,b, I saw the drastic impact of cholera on the population due to poor hygiene and sanitation. The need for public health research and preventive medicine compels me to leave my footprint on innovative healthcare. Through BDP I simply want to feed my joy for helping others, give back to the nation that birthed me, and carry on the legacy of our martyrs. I will forever bleed red and green.”