Fast-forwarding from 2020 to 2021, the pandemic has left its mark on the lives of people in every corner of the world. Like an untamed storm, it continues to ravage and plague communities, imposing the impossibly difficult choice of life and livelihood. From closure of businesses to educational institutions, it has redefined what it meant to have a ‘normal life’. Faced with unprecedented challenges of being quarantined to survive away from loved ones to being disconnected from the world in its entirety, we are still learning to cope with the ‘new norms’. But out of adversity, comes opportunity, and every journey towards it has a story waiting to be told.
The “Stories of Pandemic – Resonance Beyond the Horizon”, a virtual international collective showcase of incredible stories of bright, young, and talented individuals amidst the pandemic from across the globe, organized by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) at the American International University – Bangladesh (AIUB), is a testament to just that. Bringing together 19 institutions from across 10 countries, the program hosted over 100 short stories, poetries, short films, artwork, photography, and musical performances. The main event was held on the 26th of June 2021, virtually through the Zoom application, with it also being shared live on the Official AIUB Facebook page. Dr. Carmen Z. Lamagna, the Vice Chancellor of AIUB, gave the Welcome Address, inaugurating the event with the notion of continuing our collaborative spirit of being culturally engaged, even when we are socially distanced. The program website, where all the ‘Stories of Pandemic’ are now available, was also officially launched through the program. The Vote of Thanks was presented by Ms. Nadia Anwar, one of the Founder Members of AIUB, expressing her gratitude towards all the students, partners, and organizers. More than 4500 people tuning in to enjoy the Final Showcase, the program received overwhelming responses from the global community of higher education. From students to staff, everyone found a story they could relate to, finding solace, inspiration, and hope for surviving today and striving for a better tomorrow.
The amazing moments and milestones of life lessons learnt throughout this daunting ordeal has indeed been a ‘resonance beyond the horizon ‘, reminding us, that despite being from different places, going through different situations, and having different beliefs, we are all in this together, and together, we shall one day, overcome.
For more details on the ‘Stories of Pandemic’, visit the http://sop.aiub.edu.