Muhammed Zafar Iqbal
(born December 23, 1952) is a Bangladeshi academian, scientist,writer of children’s books and science-fiction and columnist. He is a professor of Computer Science at the Shahjalal University of Science and Technology. Iqbal is a science fiction writer in the Bangla language. He was elected as one of the best ten Bangali.
Muhammad Zafar Iqbal with his wife, Yasmeen HaqMuhammed Zafar Iqbal was born on 23 December 1952 in Sylhet. His father, Foyzur RahmanAhmed was a police officer and because of his fathers occupation, he traveled various parts of the country as a child. Zafar Iqbal was inspired by his father for writing at an early life and wrotehis first science fiction at the age of seven. On 5 May 1971 Pakistan Army captured his father and killed him in front of a river. Iqbal had to dig his father’s grave to convince her mother abouthis death. First publication of Zafar Iqbal’s science fiction came at the famous weekly "Bichitra"as he wrote a short story titled "Kopotronik Bhalobasha" (Kopotronik Love). One of the readersclaimed the story as a plagiarism to make Iqbal annoyed and he wrote a series of stories under the title as a result. He passed SSC from Bogra Zilla School in 1968 and HSC in 1970 fromDhaka College. He joined in Dhaka University at the department of Physics in 1972. In 1976,Zafar Iqbal went to University of Washington in USA to obtain his Ph. D. There he met hisuniversity colleague Yasmin Haque and a year later they were married. In 1992, Iqbal decided tocome back to his country what according to him he planned to do "the day he left the country".He and his wife have two children, son Nabil and daughter Yeshim, who translated the book "Amar Bondhu Rashed" (Rashed, my friend) written by her father. His elder brother HumayunAhmed is a living legend, and considered one of the most popular writers of Bengali Language.Younger brother Ahsan Habib is the editor of satirical magazine, 'Unmad'(Mad) and a cartoonistas well as popular writer.
Iqbal studied Physics at theUniversity of Dhaka and graduated in1975.He obtained his PhDfrom theUniversity of Washingtonin1982. He had a distinguished career at Caltech and thenworked for theBell Labsin New Jersey. He worked in California Institute of Technology from1983 to 1988 as a Post Doctoral Faculty. He joined Bell Communications Research in 1988 andworked there as a Research Scientist until 1994. Since 1994 he is a professor and the Head of theDepartment of the Computer Science and Engineering of Shahjalal University of Science andTechnology.
Zafar Iqbal started writing since his college days and became very popular with his teen-adventure novels, a rarity in Bangla literature in the late 1970s. His writing career wasinterrupted when he came to study and work in the USA. While abroad, his first two sciencefiction books came out, meeting great critical and popular acclaim. He returned to Bangladesh inearly 1990s, leaving his successful career in the US, and joined a Shahjalal University of Scienceand Technologyto teachPhysicsandComputer Science. After his return, he took up the causesof promoting science to young children, building a first-rate science education program at theuniversity, and promoting freedom of thought. His latter cause and his opposition to the religiousfundamentalism put him in direct conflict with the religious fanatics.Although he writes fiction and non-fiction for grown-ups, he is at his creative best with hisnovels for adolescents. The young people in his novels are everyday boys and girls, seek and findadventure in their otherwise unremarkable and modest lives. They go through tough times withwonderful sense of optimism and wide eyed curiosity. A couple of his novels have been madeinto motion pictures.
Muhammad Zafar Iqbal won the best dramatist award in the Meril-Prothom Alo Awards in 2005