World-renowned French-Spanish musician Manu Chao performed at the Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA)’s National Theatre Hall on Wednesday, rocking the Dhaka crowd in his first visit to the country.
Organised by Alliance Française de Dhaka, the concert, titled "Sibérie m'était contée" Asian Tour, was arranged in association with the support of the Embassy of France to Bangladesh and Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy.
In front of the jam-packed crowd at the venue, Manu and his guitarist performed several of his popular French and Spanish scores including his popular track "La Vida Tómbola" which was featured in the documentary film Maradona by Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica.
The duo then performed along with Bangladeshi Percussionist Mithun Chakraborty, also known as Mithun Chakra, and the crowd was tentalized with the collaboration.
“Manu is an amazing talent. We could not practice together even for more than half an hour just before the concert, yet we managed to speak the universal language of music at this concert”, Mithun told UNB.
The crowd loved every bit of this show, and it was reflected by the dancing audiences. “We did not understand a single word of his songs, but his performance did not let us sit for a minute and we never saw this much energy in any performance at this venue ever before”, Imtiaz, a student of East West University, told UNB.
Thanking his mesmerized Bangladeshi audience in the venue, Manu expressed his gratefulness while talking to UNB, saying “Never really imagined this sort of overwhelming appreciation even at this time of Corona epidemic. I am very happy to perform here in Dhaka and really grateful to this amazing crowd.”
Alliance Française de Dhaka’s Director Olivier Dintinger said they are very proud to present this eccentric concert in Bangladesh and expect to thrive the cultural bonding further between the two countries.
Manu Chao, a world renowned artist who performs in French, Spanish, English, Italian, Arabic, Catalan, Galician, Portuguese, Greek and occasionally in other languages .
One of the genius followers of Bob Marley, Manu Chao began his musical career in Paris, busking and playing with groups such as Hot Pants and Los Carayos which combined a variety of languages and musical styles. With friends and his brother Antoine Chao, he founded the band Mano Negra in 1987, achieving considerable success, particularly in Europe. After its breakup in 1995, Manu Chao became a solo artist and since then tours regularly with his live band, Radio Bemba.
As part of his Asian tour, Manu Chao rocked several cities in India including Ahmedabad, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai and Kolkata, before stepping inside Dhaka for the first time ever. On Tuesday, he roamed and performed in the Dhaka University campus, exploring the color fest of Holi.
As part of the Asian tour, Manu’s next destination is Colombo, Sri Lanka.
For the fourth time, near-extinct river turtle ‘Batagur Baska’ laid 35 eggs at a wildlife breeding centre in Karamjal of East Sundarbans on Tuesday.
Forest Department is trying to hatch eggs through natural incubation (keeping them in sand) process, said Azad Kabir, officer-in-charge of the breeding centre.
He said the process would take 65-67 days.
Batagur Baska is one of the most critically endangered turtles in the world and can only be found in the wild in the mangroves of Bangladesh and India.
In 2017, two turtles laid 63 eggs of which 57 hatched. The next year, two turtles laid 46 eggs, of which 24 hatched. Last year, one turtle laid 32 eggs and all of them hatched.
A man from London has become the second person in the world to be cured of HIV, doctors say.
Adam Castillejo is still free of the virus more than 30 months after stopping anti-retroviral therapy, reports BBC.
He was not cured by the HIV drugs, however, but by a stem-cell treatment he received for a cancer he also had, the Lancet HIV journal reports.
The donors of those stem cells have an uncommon gene that gives them, and now Mr Castillejo, protection against HIV.
In 2011, Timothy Brown, the "Berlin Patient" became the first person reported as cured of HIV, three and half years after having similar treatment.
What is the treatment?
Stem-cell transplants appear to stop the virus being able to replicate inside the body by replacing the patient's own immune cells with donor ones that resist HIV infection.
Adam Castillejo - the now 40-year-old "London Patient" who has decided to go public with his identity - has no detectable active HIV infection in his blood, semen or tissues, his doctors say.
It is now a year after they first announced he was clear of the virus and he still remains free of HIV.
Lead researcher Prof Ravindra Kumar Gupta, from the University of Cambridge, told BBC News: "This represents HIV cure with almost certainty.
"We have now had two and a half years with anti-retroviral-free remission.
"Our findings show that the success of stem-cell transplantation as a cure for HIV, first reported nine years ago in the Berlin Patient, can be replicated."
But it will not be a treatment for the millions of people around the world living with HIV.
The aggressive therapy was primarily used to treat the patients' cancers, not their HIV.
And current HIV drugs remain very effective, meaning people with the virus can live long and healthy lives.
Prof Gupta said: "It is important to note that this curative treatment is high-risk and only used as a last resort for patients with HIV who also have life-threatening haematological malignancies.
"Therefore, this is not a treatment that would be offered widely to patients with HIV who are on successful anti-retroviral treatment."
But it might offer hope of finding a cure, in the future, using gene therapy.
How does it work?
CCR5 is the most commonly used receptor by HIV-1 - the virus strain of HIV that dominates around the world - to enter cells.
But a very small number of people who are resistant to HIV have two mutated copies of the CCR5 receptor.
This means the virus cannot penetrate cells in the body it normally infects.
Researchers say it may be possible to use gene therapy to target the CCR5 receptor in people with HIV.
It is the same receptor the now jailed Chinese scientist He Jiankui worked on when he created the world's first gene-edited babies.
Is it a permanent cure?
The tests suggest 99% of Mr Castillejo's immune cells have been replaced by donor ones.
But he still has remnants of the virus in his body, as does Mr Brown.
And it is impossible to say with absolute certainty his HIV will never come back.
Mr Castillejo told the New York Times: "This is a unique position to be in, a unique and very humbling position.
"I want to be an ambassador of hope.
"I don't want people to think, 'Oh, you've been chosen.'
"No, it just happened.
"I was in the right place, probably at the right time, when it happened."
Prof Sharon Lewin, from the University of Melbourne, Australia, said: "Given the large number of cells sampled here and the absence of any intact virus, is the London Patient truly cured?
"The additional data provided in this follow-up case report is certainly encouraging but unfortunately, in the end, only time will tell."
A nine-day group art exhibition titled ‘Guru-Shishya: Shishya-Guru’ 2) will end on Tuesday at Zainul Gallery of the Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University.
The opening ceremony of the exhibition, organised by Oriental Painting Studio Bangladesh, was held on March 2.
Presided over by Professor Nisar Hossain, Dean, Faculty of Fine Arts, Dhaka University, the exhibition was inaugurated by renowned sculptor-painter Hamiduzzaman Khan.
Luva Nahid Choudhury, Director General of Bengal Foundation, was present as chief guest at the programme. Nilu Rowshan Murshed, Chairperson of Abinta Gallery of Fine Arts, art connoisseurs Ratan Chandra Pal, Mikhail I Islam and Nusrat Mahmud were present as special guests.
This is the second group exhibition by Oriental Painting Studio Bangladesh.
The artists of the exhibition include Zahangir Alom, Amit Nandi and Malay Bala.
One of the artists Zahangir Alom said 'When I am at work, I do play Indian classical music. Thus, I try to translate my feelings into canvas. My artworks evoke include various images of classical raga, their moods and melodic bliss."
"Besides, I have a great fascination for depicting nature, its diverse facets and mythical aspects especially the connotations of the eternal love between Radha and Krishna," he added.
The exhibition, featuring oriental artworks, will showcase paintings from classical to the contemporary styles.
On the closing day the exhibition will remain open to all from 1pm to 8pm.
Earlier, the first edition of the exhibition took place at Alliance Française de Dhaka in 2019.
A three-day festival is scheduled to begin on Sunday afternoon at Lalon Akhra in Chheuria village in Kumarkhali upazila remembering the legendry Baul Lalon Shah.
The Lalon Academy, in association with the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, is organising the event. Hundreds of admires from home and abroad have already gathered at the Akhra to take part in the festival.
The festival will feature open discussions, singing of Baul songs by artistes of Lalon Academy and prominent singers, fair and some selected cultural performances.
State Minister for Cultural Affairs KM Khalid will inaugurate the festival at 6:30pm while Kushita-1 MP AKM Sarwar Jahan Badsa, Kushtia-4 MP Selim Altaf George, Superintendent of Police SM Tanvir Arafat among others will be present with Deputy Commissioner Md Aslam Hossain in the chair.
Tight security has been put in place to ensure safety of the devotees.
Lalon Shah was a Baul, a mystic, a songwriter, singer, social reformer and secular thinker. He has become an icon of religious tolerance and secularism in Bengali culture.