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“I feel proud as my roots lies in Bangladesh”

Laila Haroon
President,
Bangladesh American Children
& Women Welfare Association

There are many energetic women in the world, who have got established in the social and cultural field overcoming family boundaries. Laila Haroon is one of them, who is a Bangladeshi American. Being a master’s degree holder in political science from Dhaka University, Laila Haroon’s family and career are full of various experiences. She is a skilled organizer and leading figure in the Florida cultural arena.

Though Laila Haroon’s ancestral home is in Chattogram, she was born in Narsingdi due to her father’s job. She got married to her classmate Sarkar Harun who also comes from Narsingdi. She has received primary education in Sylhet. Later, she completed her SSC from Barishal and HSC in Patuakhali. As a meritorious student, she got scholarship in fifth and eighth class and got a place in merit list in SSC examination. After passing HSC, she got admitted to University of Dhaka in Political Science. She fell in love with her classmate Sarkar Haroon while studying in honors third year. After graduating, they married and moved to West Germany in 1986. After staying for 6 years, they returned to country from there.

Laila Haroon and Sarkar Harun both are cultural-minded. After a short stay in the country, they moved to Florida in October 1997 with their friend Badal. After coming to Florida, Laila Haroon has initiated a number of programs to keep cultural activities of Bangladesh community alive. They celebrated Victory Day with the Bengalis in Florida in 1997. The event is enjoyed by the Bangladeshi community and foreigners. In 1999, Laila Haroon founded the Bangladesh American Children and Women Welfare Association, an organization for mothers and children in Florida, USA. Layla Harun has 6 sisters. Their father used to say that if the boys don’t study, he can establish himself. But, girls definitely need education. Under his strict discipline and inspiration, they have obtained higher education.

Laila Haroon felt from her childhood that girls are neglected, deprived and neglected in the society. From that thinking, she founded the organization for women and children of Florida and Bangladesh. Florida’s leading physician and organizer Sultan Salahuddin is one of the advisors of this organization. From the very beginning, Layla Harun has been arranging health services for women, children and others in the community with doctors including seminars. The organization takes regular counseling and treatment initiatives for children with low mental development. Not only women’s health but also men’s health care is provided here. During these activities, cultural entertainment is arranged for the emotional uplift of others including children. This company is working in the same way in Chattogram, Bangladesh. Besides providing medical services to distressed mothers and children, the organization also provides financial assistance.

Laila Haroon’s husband Sarkar Harun is also a skilled organizer. He is the founder of the 1st Baishakh Celebration Committee in Florida. Baishakhi fair and various programs are celebrated here in grand procession. From 2016 to 2017, Layla Harun served as founding president of Dhaka University Alumni, Florida. Later, Haroon and his government contributed a lot to the formation of a new 31-member committee in 2019.
Layla Harun is associated with Fobana. She served as member secretary of the Florida Committee at the Fobana Conference. She also played a special role as an initiator of Nazrul Geeti, Rabindra Sangeet and Sahitya Sammelan here and has served as member secretary many times. She writes in a memoir published in Fobana almost every time.

With the initiatives of her father and uncle, Halishahar Talented Campus School and a Madrasah have been established. She assisted the poor students of this school in various ways and school directors also provided financial assistance.

Layla Harun, one of the cultural organizers of the Bangladesh community, always inspires people living in the USA to support her organization by saying that 1 dollar is equal to 80 Bangladeshi taka. If we wish, we can help the larger population of Bangladesh through this organization. We can bring smile on the faces of poor and helpless people. Layla Harun has taken various initiatives to make the new generation of Bangladesh community interested in Bengali culture. Different programs such as wearing sari, speaking Bengali to each other, Ekushey February, Victory Day, Independence Day are arranged to keep the cultural identity of Bangladesh alive in the USA.
One of the most acclaimed works of Laila Haroon is the addition of a picture of the Royal Bengal Tiger to a monogram at Boynton Beach High School in Florida. Seeing this picture on school’s signboard, the picture of Bangladesh and the Sundarbans floated in the mind of any local or foreigner. At the time of establishing the school, he raised the issue of the removal of Royal Bengal to the jury board on monogram and it was accepted.

Laila Haroon and Sarkar Haroon are blessed with two daughters. The enthusiastic Layla Harun says, “I feel so proud as my roots lies in Bangladesh.”

About Mohammad Shaheen

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