"Keeping Peace in a Turbulent World: Reflections from the Field," a book showcasing the courageous narratives of 33 Bangladeshi peacekeepers, has garnered global attention. Within its 567 pages, this book unveils the challenging experiences, unwavering dedications, and unconditional sacrifices of Bangladeshi UN peacekeepers in their pursuit of establishing peace on the global stage.
The preface for the book was composed by Chief of Army Staff General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, who highlighted the glorious contributions of the country's gallant fighters across the world in promoting tranquility. Originally published in Bengali as 'Shantirakshi' by Del H Khan, a prolific Bangladeshi author and former UN peacekeeper, the book later caught the eye of Kawsar Ahmed, a professor at Winnipeg University and the Executive Director of Conflict and Resilience Research Institute Canada.
Recognizing its uniqueness as the only compilation of true peacekeeping stories in the world, Ahmed approached Del H Khan to translate and enhance the book for an international audience. The enhanced international edition includes articles from former UN force commanders and recognized scholars on peacekeeping affairs. Niaz Mahmud Sakib skillfully translated the true peacekeeping stories into English, and the book was published by Cambridge Scholars Publishing on November 22, 2023.
While interacting with this correspondent, enchanted Niaz said his exuberance knew no bound to represent the country on a bigger stage—internationally -- through translating the stories of the greatest sons of the soil. He found preserving the authenticity and essence of the narratives as the toughest challenge for him. "Throughout the process, whenever any complexity tugged at my brain regarding the narratives, the only soliloquy that echoed was, ‘It’s always about the truth, people, and authenticity.’ It’s the first of its kind from the best contributor country in UN peacekeeping and the task was no less than glorified flares," Niaz Mahmud Sakib said.
In an interview with the Daily Ittefaq, Del H Khan, the author, shared, "As an Operations Officer of the Bangladesh Army's Overseas Operations Directorate, my role involved coordinating UN peacekeeping missions in 8 countries worldwide. This challenging assignment brought daily hurdles across various missions, but beyond routine tasks, I harbored a dream of sharing the history and true stories of our peacekeepers with readers worldwide." "When 'Peacekeepers' was initially published in Bengali in 2018, it was satisfying to think that readers in Bangladesh would learn about our peacekeepers and a slice of peacekeeping history. However, I didn't want to stop there. I endeavored to have the writings published in English and reach a global readership. Today, my dream has come true," Khan added.
He expressed gratitude to Kawsar Ahmed, PhD, for facilitating the international publication and enriching the book with the experiences of force commanders and insightful essays by renowned peacekeeping scholars. Khan also thanked Niaz Mahmud Sakib for the seamless translation and acknowledged the Honorable Chief of Army Staff, Bangladesh Army, General SM Shafiuddin Ahmed, for contributing the foreword.
"This book is set to inspire future peacekeepers worldwide, and professionals and students of international relations, humanitarian work, and peace & conflict studies will benefit from reading it," concluded Del H Khan.