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Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal /মুহম্মদ জাফর ইকবাল

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal at Borno Mela, Dhanmondi, Dhaka (Feb 2013)
Born 23 December 1952 (age 61)
Sylhet, East Bengal, Pakistan
(now in Bangladesh)
Nationality Pakistani (1952–1971)
                        Bangladeshi (1971–present)
Education PhD (Physics)(from University of Washington)
Alma mater
University of Dhaka
University of Washington
Occupation Physicist, writer, columnist
Spouse(s) Yasmeen Haque (1978–present)
Nabil Iqbal
Yeshim Iqbal
Faizur Rahman Ahmed
Ayesha Akhter Khatun
Humayun Ahmed (brother)
Ahsan Habib (brother)
Sufia Haider (sister)
Momtaz Shahid (sister)
Rukhsana Ahmed (sister)
Awards Bangla Academy Award (2004)

Muhammed Zafar Iqbal (Bengali: মুহম্মদ জাফর ইকবাল; born 23 December 1952) is a Bangladeshi author of science fiction and children's literature. He is a professor of computer science and engineering and also head of the department of electrical and electronics engineering at Shahjalal University of Science and Technology.

Personal lifeBackground

Iqbal was born on 23 December 1952 in Sylhet. His father, Faizur Rahman Ahmed, was a police officer. His mother is Ayesha Akhter Khatun. In his childhood, he traveled various parts of Bangladesh because of his father's transferring job. Iqbal was encouraged to write by his father in early life.

Iqbal passed SSC exam from Bogra Zilla School in 1968 and HSC exam from Dhaka College in 1970. He earned his BSc in physics from Dhaka University in 1976. In the same year Iqbal went to University of Washington to obtain his PhD and earned the degree in 1982.

He married Yasmeen Haque in 1978. She is currently the Dean of the Life Science Department and Head of the department of Physics at SUST. They have two children – son Nabil and daughter Yeshim. Iqbal's elder brother, Humayun Ahmed was a writer and filmmaker. His younger brother, Ahsan Habib, is the editor of the satirical magazine, Unmad (Mad) and a cartoonist. Zafar Iqbal is an atheist in personal life.


After obtaining his PhD degree, Iqbal worked as a post-doctoral researcher at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) from 1983 to 1988. He then joined Bell Communications Research (Bellcore), a separate corporation from the Bell Labs (now Telcordia Technologies), as a research scientist. He left the institute in 1994.

Upon returning to Bangladesh he joined the faculty of the CSE department at SUST. Later he became the head of the EEE department. On 26 November 2013, Iqbal and his wife Professor Yasmeen Haque applied for resignation soon after the university authority had postponed the combined admission test for the SUST and Jessore Science & Technology University. However they withdrew their resignation letters on the next day after the authority decided to go on with holding combined admission tests.

He also serves as the Director of BTCL and Vice President of Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad committee. Iqbal played a leading role in founding Bangladesh Mathematical Olympiad and popularized mathematics among Bangladeshi youths at local and international level. In 2011 he won Rotary SEED Award for his contribution in the field of education.


Iqbal started writing stories from a very early age. He wrote his first short story at the age of seven. While studying in Dhaka University Iqbal's story Copotronik Bhalobasa was published in a local magazine. Later he rewrote the story and published as collection of stories titled Copotronik Sukh Dukho.


Main article: Muhammed Zafar Iqbal bibliography

Iqbal is one of the pioneers of science fiction in the Bengali language. He mainly writes for younger readers. He is best known for his novels for youngsters and science fictions. He also wrote several non-fiction on physics and mathematics. He writes column in mainstream newspapers regularly.

Political stance

Iqbal is known for his stance against Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh and has spearheaded criticism of its leaders, several of whom are undergoing trial at the International Crimes Tribunal for their role in Bangladesh liberation war 1971. Zafar Iqbal's father was allegedly killed by Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayeedi. He came down heavily on a section of the media for their stand against holding the 10th parliamentary elections in Bangladesh on 5 January 2013, amid a boycott by the main opposition party, alleging that those who had calling for halting the electoral process were actually trying to ensure the participation of Jamaat-e-Islami in the election.

In support of the war crimes trials carried out at the premises of the International Crimes Tribunal in Bangladesh, he participated and featured prominently at the 2013 Shahbag protests.


  •     Shishu Academy Agrani Bank Shishu Shahitto Award 2001
  •     Quazi Mahbubulla Zebunnesa Award 2002
  •     Khalekdad Chowdhury Literary Award 2003
  •     Sheltech Liteary Award 2003
  •     Uro Child Literary Award 2004
  •     Md. Mudabber-Husne ara literary Award 2005
  •     Marcantile Bank Ltd. Award 2005
  •     One of the 10 living Eminent Bengali 2005
  •     American Alimony Association Award 2005
  •     Dhaka University Alimony Association Award 2005
  •     Sylhet Naittamoncho Award '2005
  •     Bangla Academy Literary Award 2005
  •     Uro Child Literary Award 2006
  •     Rotary SEED Award 2011

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