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In December 2013, the Intellectual Property Association of Bangladesh (IPAB) celebrated a major success as Bangladesh's Jamdani Sari weaving tradition, a labor-intensive and time-consuming form of hand loom weaving is recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Jamdani is the finest Muslin textile produced in Bangladesh's Dhaka District.
A sari is the traditional garment worn by women in the Indian subcontinent, made up of a long strip of unstitched cloth, ranging from five to nine yards in length, which can be draped in various styles. The most common style is for the sari to be wrapped around the waist with one end then draped over the shoulders with the other. The Jamdani Sari is among the oldest styles, at more than 5,000 years old! Some people think that the sari was influenced by Greek or Roman toga, which we see on ancient statues. However, there is no solid historical evidence to this effect.
The sari is essentially designed to suit local conditions in the subcontinent. There are at least six varieties of Bengal handlooms, each deriving its name from the village in which it originated, and each with its own distinctive style. Dhaka was especially renowed for saris of fine muslin, a tradtion that carries on today. Jamdani is basically a transformation of the world famous Dhakai Muslin. According to their variety, fineness and patterns the traditional Dhakai Muslins were divided into specific categories. Among them, Aab-E-Rouhan, Shabnam, Sarband and Jamdani muslin were the most famous. Over the years the first three of these have vanished from history.
The production, marketing and export of Jamdani has somehow maintained its continuity. Dhaka has a history of only four hundred years from 1610 A.D., but the history of the cotton clothes of the region reveals more ancient traditions. Although most of the history of Jamdani weaving os lost in the mists of antiquity, it's known that trade in the fabric was established at least 2,000 years ago.
Portrait of a Bangladeshi weaver of Jamdani Saris in the village of Rupganj Thana in the outskirts of Dhaka.
A whole saller of Jamdani Saris shows a piece from his collection in the village of Rupganj Thana in the outskirts of Dhaka.
Jamdani Saris are made from the finest Muslin textile produced in Bangladesh's Dhaka District. This time consuming and labor-intensive form of hand loom weaving has been declared intagible cultural world heritage by UNESCO.
Waste chemicals and oil from factories are disposed of in the canals, polluting the river and the soil. Industrial processes are not only a factor in climate change, but also produce toxic waste that threatens Dhaka's natural resources.
A boy poses before a patch of cracked dry earth. Bangladesh has been particularly affected by climate change, where unpredictable heat waves and rainy seasons make life difficult for its people.
Shahnaz Begum, 36, jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly fire that permanently damaged her eye. She sustained serious spinal injuries from the fall.
Hasan Mia, 30, jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when it went ablaze two years ago. He still struggles with mental illness.
Shama, 20, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the fire that killed 117 people in 2012. She sustained serious injuries to her leg and the right side of her body that still cause her complications two years later.
Rowshonara, 37, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly blaze. She still fights to overcome the deep mental and emotional trauma.
Khadeza Akter Sume, 20, jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when a fire killed 117 people in 2012. She still struggles to cope with the trauma.
Anzu, 45, jumped from 4th floor of the Tazreen Fashion building, which burnt down in 2012 killing 1167 people. Two years later, she is haunted by the fire and has trouble sleeping.
Mahinur, 32, jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly blaze. Two years later, she remains psychologically scarred by the traumatic event.
Sume Akter, 23, broke her leg and hand when she jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the blaze that killed 117 of her colleagues in 2012.
Reshma, 20, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building when a fire broke out that killed 117 people in 2012. She still suffers backbone and leg problems due to injuries she sustained from the fall.
Banu Rani, 35, was severely injured when she jumped from the 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the blaze.
Moushumi Begum, 24, was pregnant with her daughter Zinti when she jumped from 3rd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building. Her daughter is alive and well, but Moushumi remains deeply scarred by the fire that took 117 of her colleagues' lives.
Morsheda Begum, 27, jumped from 2nd floor of the Tazreen Fashion building to escape the deadly 2012 factory fire, breaking several bones
Rupa Begum, 26, jumped from 2nd floor of the building, breaking her nose as she fell to the ground.