Remembering Sir Fazle Hasan Abed KCMG

People from all over the world have shared their memories and feelings about Sir Fazle. You can view some of the messages below.

On my dear friend Abed

Abed was one of the foremost leaders of thought as well as action of our time. Not only did he transform Bangladesh, and indeed a lot of the world, by his radical initiatives, he proceeded to his actions through identifying what our deprived world needed, using remarkably penetrating analysis and social scrutiny. An astonishing combination of clear-headed thinking and sure-footed execution made Abed the great leader that he was. We have had very few like him in the history of the world.

Amartya Sen

He was a great gift to humanity

Sir Fazle Abed’s life was a great gift to humanity. His nearly 50 years of visionary leadership at BRAC transformed millions of lives in Bangladesh and beyond, and changed the way the world thinks about development. Driven by an unwavering belief in the inherent dignity of all people, he empowered those in extreme poverty to build better futures for themselves and their families. I will always be grateful for the chance to see his life-changing programmes in action in Bangladesh when I was President, for his many years of work with the Clinton Global Initiative, and for the kindness, friendship, and inspiration he gave Hillary and me - including the grace and courage of the final months of his life. His legacy will live on in all the people whose lives are better, healthier and more secure because of his remarkable service.

Bill Clinton

We will forever draw inspiration from his work

In 1972, after Bangladesh’s war of liberation had left many homeless, Fazle Abed left his job as a London oil executive and returned to his home country with £16,000 in his pocket - and the ambitious goal of building 10,400 houses. He ended up raising enough money to build 16,000 houses for some of the poorest people in Bangladesh and still had enough left over to start his next project. That’s who Sir Fazle was as a humanitarian, and that’s what he helped us learn about development work: How to build a big, efficient organization, while never forgetting who you were doing it for. We were saddened to hear of his passing and will forever draw inspiration from his work, as will the rest of the world, which he left so much better than he found.

Bill and Melinda Gates

His life is a lesson for us

The scale and impact of what he has done, and yet the utter humility with which he has done everything, is a lesson for every single one of us.

Jim Yong Kim

My deepest condolence

My deepest condolence for your loss and I write with a heavy heart though to note how Sir Fazle will continue to be the source of inspiration for the world. The hundreds of millions of lives he transformed will remember him as the spark of hope, especially by those from the most vulnerable and poorest communities now enriched by new possibilities. It is an admirable spirit to drive significant social changes through compassion, courage and conviction, and I am certain that the spirit lives on through you and everyone at BRAC. The Yidan Prize Foundation will continue to work closely with BRAC to further impactful educational programmes in Asia, Africa and beyond. Together, we can continue to help young, marginalised children find joy in their learning and those deprived of resources live happy, productive lives. The loving memory of Sir Fazle’s tremendous career and achievements in life will keep you proud and strong. I am particularly struck when I learned about the beautiful way he described his work as how “he spent his life watching optimism triumph over despair when the light of self-belief is sparked in people.” It is clear why he could accomplish so much and this tremendous legacy requires continuing dedication from all of us. Please take great care and my thoughts are with you.

Dr Charles CHEN Yidan

He is one of my all-time heroes

Extremely saddened to hear about the passing of Sir Fazle Hassan Abed, a true giant and icon of rural development, and one of my all-time heroes. Someone who dedicated his life to help the poor, achieving extraordinary impact through his organization – BRAC. I remember the first time I met him in 1992, on my first working experience in Bangladesh. Since then, through many unforgettable interactions, a wonderful partnership between BRAC and IFAD developed, with BRAC acting as an implementation partner for many of IFAD’s projects in Bangladesh and other countries. In spite of countless international awards, he remained one of the kindest, most humble and gentle persons I have ever known. My sincere condolences to Tamara and the rest of Abed’s extended family.

Nigel Brett

A message from former US Ambassador to Bangladesh Dan Mozena

The world today is much diminished. The death of Sir Fazle has taken away a true hero, one who was a model for me personally and for us all of humility, caring and service to humanity. Sir Fazle believed and practiced that development starts with the individual, that development is about helping people help themselves by providing them access to better education, health and skills training. Although the world no longer has Sir Fazle to show the way, we have his living and growing legacy in BRAC and the millions of people who benefited and continue to benefit from his vision and work. I offer my deepest condolences to Sir Fazle’s family, to the BRAC family, to the good people of Bangladesh, and, indeed, to all of humanity. As we grieve our loss, we must recommit ourselves to sustaining and growing his rich legacy. With a heavy heart.

Dan Mozena

Such was his awareness about development issues

I am deeply saddened at the news of the death of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. I once had the privilege of sitting beside him at a dinner event and we were discussing public health and poverty issues. At one point, I remarked that good development ideas in Bangladesh travel fast because of population density and he immediately quipped, "So does diarrhea." Such was his presence of mind and awareness of development issues! Incidentally, one of his important contributions was to spread the idea of home-made oral saline through BRAC`s one of the many effective social campaigns. Today, Bangladesh is a global leader in reducing child mortality, which, to a great extent, is due to the reduction of child deaths from diarrhea through the widespread adoption of orally consumable saline. This is just one example of many of his innovative ideas for development. May his soul rest in peace.

Professor Wahid Uddin Mahmud

May his legacy last forever

Sir Fazle H Abed, a doer until his last breath, an innovator, a visionary, an iconic development practitioner and a proud Bangladeshi has left us quietly in his private space. May his institutional legacy last forever while his soul rests in peace!

Dr Zahid Hussain

Your light will keep guiding us

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, the esteemed founder of BRAC, was a true visionary. His efforts with BRAC post the liberation war played a key role in eradicating the extreme poverty faced by the rural people of Bangladesh. And he did not just stop at that. His continued efforts gave BRAC a global recognition and made it the Number 1 NGO in the world. Today, we mourn the sad demise of one of Bangladesh`s greatest entrepreneurs. Your light will guide our fight against poverty. Thank you Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. You will be dearly missed.

Shakib Al Hasan

Our deepest condolences

Respected Sir, peace be upon you. We would like to express our deepest condolences for the passing of Sir Fazle Hassan Abed, founder and Chair Emeritus of BRAC.

Lubaba Mubashirah

A role model for us all

Sir Fazle was a global leader and a role model for all of us. I pray to almighty Allah for peace of the soul of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed.

Dr Salehuddin Ahmed

One of the heroes of modern times

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, a Bangladeshi who is one of the heroes of modern times, died today at 83. Abed founded BRAC, one of the world`s largest aid groups, and targeted the very poor in Asia and Africa. He helped lift Bangladeshis and tens of millions around the globe. RIP, Abed. I can think of few people who have done so much for humanity as Abed. He was a friend and someone I deeply admired and learned from: While US aid efforts in Afghanistan often flopped, his succeeded. Reflecting his humility, no one called him Sir Fazle. He was simply Abed.

Nicholas Kristof

শোক প্রকাশ

ব্র্যাকের প্রতিষ্ঠাতা ফজলে হাসান আবেদ স্যারের মৃত্যুতে আইসিটি পরিবারের পক্ষ থেকে গভীর শোক প্রকাশ করছি। মহান আল্লাহ্‌ তাকে বেহেস্ত দান করুন। আমিন।

Zunaed Ahmed Palak

We will never forget the example he set

It was with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Sir Fazle Hasan Abed. Over the course of three decades, under Sir Fazle’s inspiring leadership, the humanitarian organization he founded, BRAC, has become one of the world’s leading development organizations. From its humble beginnings in Bangladesh – the country he loved so well -- to its expansion to 10 countries across Asia and Africa, BRAC has stood as an inspiring example of how we can gather people together in common cause to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. At UNICEF, we were particularly pleased that Sir Fazle agreed to become a Global Leader of Generation Unlimited, a new global public-private partnership to scale education, skills development and employment opportunities for young people, to prepare them for the world of work. I still remember his inspiring words at the Gen-U launch in September 2018, when he called on world leaders to join our cause, and invest in the next generation of global leaders. All of us at UNICEF will miss his ideas and advice. We will never forget the example he set. On behalf of everyone at UNICEF, please accept our deepest condolences to you, his family, and everyone at BRAC.

Henrietta H Fore

Deeply shocked.

I am deeply shocked to hear about the sudden demise of Sir Abed who has been an icon of pro-poor non-state development initiatives in Bangladesh and as well as in many parts of the world. I have worked with him closely both as a researcher and also as a regulator. Today, I deeply remember many of those fond memories which I shared with him for decades. The world will certainly remember him as a great innovator of various low-cost development solutions for the wretched and the disadvantaged, particularly the rural women. His leadership in promoting pro-poor education, health and finance has been simply unparalleled.My deepest condolences to the members of his family and all his colleagues from the non-governmental sector. May Allah bless his soul and let it live in peace.

Atiur Rahman

ফজলে হাসান আবেদের মতন মানুষ কয়টা হয়?

ফজলে হাসান আবেদের মতন মানুষ কয়টা হয়? তাঁর অনবস্থানে আমরা সবাই একটু ছোট হয়ে গেলাম।

অভিজিৎ ব্যানার্জী এবং এস্তার দুফলো

শ্রদ্ধা ও ভালোবাসায় বিদায়

স্যার ফজলে হাসান আবেদ। অসাধারণ দায়িত্ববোধ, সহমর্মিতার গভীর জীবন দর্শন ও নিরলস শ্রমের এক অবিস্মরণীয় ও অনুকরণীয় ব্যক্তিত্ব। সবচেয়ে পিছিয়ে পড়া মানুষটারও ভাগ্য পরিবর্তনের সম্ভাবনা থাকে, এই বিশ্বাসে ভর করেই তিনি সফলভাবে গড়েছেন বিশ্বের বৃহত্তম বেসরকারি সংস্থা ব্র্যাক। বাংলাদেশের সীমানা ছাড়িয়ে আজ যা সারা বিশ্বে সমাদৃত। কিন্তু এই সাহস, এই আকাঙ্ক্ষা একেবারেই শেকড় থেকে আসা। চলে যাওয়ার বেদনার এই মুহূর্তেও পরপার থেকে তার স্মিত হাসি তাই ভরসা দিচ্ছে সহমর্মিতা, দায়িত্ববোধ ও শ্রম আঁকড়ে ধরে আরও বহুদূর যাওয়া যাবে, যেতে হবে। কারণ পৃথিবীতে ভাগ্যবিড়ম্বিত মানুষের সংখ্যা এখনও অগণিত। শ্রদ্ধা ও ভালোবাসায় বিদায়।

হোসেন জিল্লুর রহমান, চেয়ারপার্সন, ব্র্যাক বাংলাদেশ

একজন স্বপ্নের ফেরিওয়ালা

পৃথিবী থেকে দারিদ্র্য বিমোচনের স্বপ্নের ফেরিওয়ালার প্রস্থান। অনেক অনেক দোয়া ও শ্রদ্ধা নিবেদন করছি।

Deluar

Condolence

Sir fazel Hasan Abdel KCMG RIP sir thanks for your vision

Yabomnette sesay

An exceptional life and legacy

Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s pioneering work on development and overcoming poverty - in Bangladesh and far beyond - was inspirational. I join family, friends and colleagues in mourning as we celebrate his exceptional life and legacy.

Achim Steiner

Thank you Abed bhai

It has been the privilege of my life to serve BRAC , founded by Sir Fazle affectionately known as Abed bhai. He passed away after founding the world`s largest NGO and enabling millions of people around the globe to lift themselves out of poverty. I will never forget the moment when he said to me, "I wish you were Bangladeshi so you could stay here forever and work at BRAC." Thank you for the opportunity Abed bhai. I am sure there is welcome committee at the gates of heaven today.

Richa Agarwal

Man with a BIG HEART

Sir Abed is a great inspiration to all of us, to motivate us to work hard to help the poor, the hungry, the homeless. Each of us can contribute in our own way, with our best ability and capability to contribute to humanity, to benefit communities in social, economy and environments. Sir Abed, rest in peace, you lived a full and most meaning life, you left behind a legacy forever. We love you.

Jacqueline Young

The expression of condolence

It`s not possible to express the gravity of the contribution of this great warrior from Bangladesh. I wish you the rest in peace SIR 🙏!

SHORIF MOLLAH

Respect

For every younger enthusiast, he is an inexhaustible source of aspiration.

Danish Kadir