Abdul Majid Khan

FCAB Founder

Another Father’s Day has just passed after my father Abdul Majid Khan’s tragic death in a car accident in our hometown of Ann Arbor, Michigan in February 2014. There is no better way to commemorate the day and celebrate his legacy than by sharing below his last words on his vision for the Foundation for Charitable Activities in Bangladesh (FCAB), the non-profit he founded.

Given his sudden passing, there is so much we did not get to learn from our father about life and especially about FCAB.  I found these draft remarks he made to the local Bangladeshi-American community in his trashcan at the time of his death. Although these scribbled Bengali notes, torn and smudged with food stains were unlike his usual precise “engineer’s handwriting,” they capture well FCAB’s rationale and function. These remarks were given at a gathering at the home of FCAB’s newest Executive Board member Khaled Mahmood, just days before his accident.

Our father used to say ‘kill the snake, but save the stick.’ As I travel back and forth to FCAB’s field office in Bagdumur where he asked to be buried years ago, I wonder at the ironies and marvels of life. He was a progressive who was dedicated to tradition and tolerance. Our parents’ humility and hard work not only gave our own family the American Dream, they sponsored their entire families to join them for a better life. FCAB is not just about giving back but should be about remembering our roots and being accountable for our collective future.

It is said in our religious tradition and similarly in other cultures that after the death of an individual when all his actions – good and bad – have ceased, only three things will benefit him – continuous charity, knowledge he has left behind and the prayers of virtuous children. It is our sincere hope that our father will be rewarded with Paradise through the works of FCAB, his efforts in enabling others to seek knowledge and our heartfelt prayers. May God bless all of humanity and help FCAB to serve all humanity. And to all who have worked so hard to help realize our father’s dream, as he would say with that slight tilt of his head and ever-present broad smile, “So kind of you, so kind of you!”

With appreciation,
Moushumi M. Khan,
FCAB Country Director
June, 2016

Letter Part - 1

Letter Page 1

Assalamo-Alaikum.

Thank you everyone for coming here today. We are here with a specific objective so I will not take up too much of your time. I am standing here before you with a couple of special requests. Almost all of us present here today have come to this country from Bangladesh with the aim to get higher education and better jobs to ensure economic freedom for our next generation. Many of us received scholarships for our outstanding performance in schools, colleges and in the universities. The Government of Bangladesh had to spend a lot on these scholarships. The government spends 710,000 Taka on average per person so that we can get free primary education and subsidized high school, college and university degrees. The government doesn’t just print this money. It is paid by the people of the country through direct and indirect taxes. You could say that not all people have to pay taxes—but that’s not true.

Letter Page 2

They probably do not have to pay income taxes but they all pay indirect taxes when buying salt or cooking oil for example. The government has levied indirect taxes on these items and whoever buys it—be it the household help or the man who begs in the streets – has to pay the taxes. The state uses this money to pay for the education we get at public schools and universities. Once we have completed our education, it is then expected that we give something back to our community, our country and do something for the people. However, we seldom do that.

Those of us who have been fortunate enough to get to this country once – I can guarantee that none of us will be willing to go back. Therefore, we are unable to pay back our dues to our country.

(Considering all this) some of us Dr. Golam Newaz, Quadir bhai, Abdur Rahman have taken up the mission to pay back our debt and established an organization named Foundation for Charitable Activities in Bangladesh (FCAB). The Foundation has been registered as a non-profit corporation in the State of Michigan. Application has been submitted to the IRS to qualify for federal tax exemption under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Letter Part - 2
Letter Part - 3

Letter Page 3

I would like to share an old story with you regarding this. You have probably heard this already. A rickshaw-puller has established a charitable hospital in Bangladesh with money that he saved for 40 years! By the Grace of Allah, we can say that financially we are in a much better position than a rickshaw-puller.

Now let’s think for a minute. If a rickshaw-puller who has hardly cost the government 10 Taka (for education) can establish a hospital as a way to pay back to the poor, what can WE do -we, who have been educated using the taxpayers’ money- money earned by low-income and middle-income people?

Therefore, it is my earnest request to you that you make some financial contribution to our organization. We would be grateful to you for your support. I would also request all of you to fill-up the membership form which is available here for $20 and join us in the effort to pitch in for the Free Primary Healthcare and Maternity Service Center project that FCAB has started in Bangladesh.

Letter Page 4

I also want to add that if you want to contribute to your own locality in Bangladesh, for instance, donate tube-wells, or money to the mosque, local school, public library, you can donate your Zakat money or charity to FCAB as a tax free donation and we will send it to your chosen person or organization.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter Part - 4