Dhaka Courier

Proud to take part in my moral obligation towards humanity: Tahsan

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Steven Corliss, UNHCR’s Representative in Bangladesh greeted and welcomed Tahsan Khan on board with a crest of honour as UNHCR’s first-ever Goodwill Ambassador from Bangladesh.

Iconic musician-actor Tahsan joined UNHCR Bangladesh as Goodwill Ambassador

Albert Einstein once said, “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” Luckily, there are some of the brightest shining superstars in every corner of the world, stepping up against the injustice on disadvantaged human beings and constantly trying to make the world a better place. These superstars are not obliged by any authority but their own moral obligations and responsibilities as the privileged units in the society, and one of the brightest and well-respected Bangladeshi youth icons have joined the global team of these phenomenal caregivers at the very beginning of 2021, as part of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)’s dynamic team of global Goodwill Ambassadors - when the organization announced the appointment of popular Bangladeshi musician and actor Tahsan Rahman Khan, as its first-ever Goodwill Ambassador in Bangladesh on January 2, Saturday.

For the next two year, Tahsan has now become an official member of the global team of 33 UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors worldwide, who help to highlight the situation of refugees and the work of UNHCR in every corner of the world through their influence, dedication and hard work.

Known as one of the most popular celebrities in Bangladesh, Tahsan has been supporting UNHCR’s advocacy and outreach activities since 2019. He has visited the Rohingya refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar and supported UNHCR in the promotion of World Refugee Day and other events. Through these engagements, he has witnessed the complex Rohingya humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar, met with refugees, and deepened his understanding of the root causes of displacement.

“I feel privileged and honoured to be engaging with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, which ensures protection, provides life-saving assistance and seeks solutions for millions of refugees and displaced people worldwide. More than one percent of humanity – 1 in every 97 people – are displaced by conflict and persecution. As part of the privileged 99 percent, I feel a moral obligation to offer every support I can extend to uphold their voices,” Tahsan said at the press conference where he was formally introduced as the first UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in Bangladesh.

Expressing that the UNHCR is honoured and proud that Tahsan has agreed to become UNHCR’s Goodwill Ambassador in Bangladesh, Steven Corliss, UNHCR's Representative in Bangladesh, said, "Not only is he a brilliant musician and actor, Tahsan is also a passionate refugee advocate and a wonderful human being, who is well-respected and liked in Bangladesh and beyond. I am very sure that Tahsan will be able to use his reach and influence to give a voice to refugees and advocate for their well-being and protection.”

UNHCR engages prominent individuals as Goodwill Ambassadors and supporters as advocates to draw global attention to the rights of the refugees and other forcibly displaced people to be protected, live decently and find solutions for their plight. As Bangladesh hosts over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees (according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) who came over Bangladesh from Myanmar in the largest refugee camp in the world in Cox’s Bazar district, the situation highly needs influential advocates like Tahsan.

UNHCR marked its 70th Anniversary of UNHCR on  December 14, 2020 - also known as the Martyred Intellectuals Day in Bangladesh. The organisation says that the 70th Anniversary is an opportunity for UNHCR to look back, reflect on today’s challenges and draw inspiration for the future. UNHCR’s history in Bangladesh dates back to the Liberation War of 1971 and successive influxes of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh from Myanmar since the late 1970s, including the influx of some 740,000 refugees following August 2017.

Tahsan is a singer-songwriter and actor from Bangladesh. He started his music career in the late ’90s with popular alternative rock band Black. He propelled into mainstream fame when he started his solo career in 2000 - and over the years, he has released seven albums and has cemented his name as one of the most successful Bangladeshi singer-songwriters of this generation. Along with the activities as a musician, Tahsan started his acting career in 2004 and has subsequently performed in more than 100 television dramas and also in films.

Also a very successful academician, teacher and achiever in his academic endeavours with obtaining the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship with an MBA from the University of Minnesota, Tahsan has positioned himself as a prolific orator promoting noteworthy causes through his public appearances. This extraordinary balance of creating art and promoting goodness makes Tahsan popular and respected in Bangladesh.

Tahsan and UNHCR

Tahsan visited Rohingya refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, in June 2019 with support of UNHCR. During the visit, Tahsan met with a number of refugees, witnessed UNHCR’s operation and deepened his understanding of refugee causes. He shared his experience in Cox’s Bazar on a TV talk-show with fellow Goodwill Ambassador and Japanese singer-actor MIYAVI on World Refugee Day in 2019.

On World Refugee Day 2020, Tahsan took part in UNHCR’s social media campaign and shared a video for UNHCR in Bangladesh. The video reached more than 400,000 people with overwhelmingly positive comments. On World Humanitarian Day 2020, Tahsan joined other High Profile Supporters and Goodwill Ambassadors in sharing a heartfelt "thank you" message to UNHCR field staff.

Tahsan is committed to upholding the rights of refugees through continued engagement with UNHCR, with its other 32 prominent Goodwill Ambassadors around the world - Nigerian singer, songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur 2Baba, Egyptian actor Adel Imam, South Sudanese-British model Alek Wek, Popular Latin American actor Alfonso Herrera, UNHCR's Honorary Lifetime Goodwill Ambassador and American operatic soprano and concert singer Barbara Hendricks, Hollywood's one of the most popular actors Ben Stiller, Ethiopian singer-songwriter and one of Africa’s fastest rising music stars Betty G, Australian actress, producer, and theatre director and Hollywood’s one of the finest superstars Cate Blanchett, English actor and filmmaker David Morrissey, Sudanese-American poet and activist Emtithal Mahmoud, Danish supermodel and photographer Helena Christensen, Belarusian-Soviet singer Iskui Abalyan, Spanish television presenter Jesús Vázquez Martínez, South Korean actor Jung Woo-sung, Swiss-born American actress, singer, dancer and model Kat Graham, Afgan-born American novelist and physician Khaled Hosseini, American television actress Kristin Davis, Ghanaian professional culinary chef Kwame Annom, South African television personality and anchor Leanne Manas, Prominent Pakistsni actress Mahira Khan, Russian-Soviet singer Manijha, Kenyan Gospel recording artist, songwriter and composer Mercy Masika, Renowned English author Neil Gaiman, Ghanaian actress and freelance model Nikoletta Samonas, South African actress, television personality, businesswoman and human rights activist Nomzamo Nonzwakazi Mbatha, Uruguayan-Argentine actor Osvaldo Laport, Swedish-Thai actress and model Praya Lundberg, Malian singer-songwriter Rokia Traoré, Philanthropist, former journalist and wife of Kuwaiti Ambassador to the United States Sheikha Rima al-Sabah, Chinese actress and philanthropist Yao Chen, Syrian swimmer and member of the Refugee Olympic Athletes Team that competed under the Olympic flag at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Yusra Mardini and South Sudanese track and field athlete Yiech Pur Biel.

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