Tareq Abdullah

Tareq Abdullah is a multifaceted individual engaged in a wide array of creative and organizational endeavours, ranging from producing insightful documentaries to composing thought-provoking plays, publishing community magazines, and leading initiatives focused on health and climate advocacy, all with a steadfast dedication to community well-being. Alongside his diverse artistic ventures, Tareq is also a devoted health professional, specialising in treating cancer patients. This unique combination of roles underscores his commitment to both artistic expression and the betterment of human health, embodying a holistic approach to enriching the lives of others.

One of his most notable endeavours involved spearheading the active participation of the Bangladeshi community in the Exchange community-led collections-based-research project with Glasgow Museums and Our Shared Cultural Heritage (OSCH). Spanning two phases from 2020 to 2023, Tareq played a pivotal role in achieving the prestigious 'Museum Changes Live Award' in 2023, a testament to their collective dedication and impact. The Exchange project utilised participatory research methodologies, fostering collaboration with members of the Bangladeshi diaspora heritage community to explore intricate themes such as empire, migration, and life in Glasgow. As a culmination of this endeavour, Tareq crafted and directed the captivating play 'LASCARi', meticulously inspired by extensive research on South Asian seafarers. This compelling performance unfolded aboard The Tall Ship, an iconic vessel moored at the Riverside Transport Museum, adding a layer of authenticity to the narrative. Additionally, he spearheaded the production of a documentary titled 'Lascars and Us', a poignant reflection of the project's profound insights and discoveries. Tareq's contributions further extended to co-authoring a seminal research publication for Glasgow Museums titled 'Scotland’s Lascars Heritage', a scholarly work that garnered recognition with a nomination for the esteemed Saltire Society's Best Research Book Award in Scotland in 2023.

Beyond his cultural pursuits, Tareq has been instrumental in introducing the principles of practical philosophy to the Bangladeshi community in Glasgow. Over the past seven years, he has championed the philosophy of Healthy Living Lifestyle (HLL) through the organisation of numerous lifestyle events branded as 'HeLLo', targeting young and vulnerable adults. Concurrently, he has sustained his involvement in literary endeavours as the Chief Editor of the bilingual community magazine 'Jora Shanko' and the lifestyle publication 'Colours of Life'.

Tareq's commitment to shedding light on pertinent societal issues is exemplified through his documentary 'Home and Us', which explores the lives of Bangladeshi immigrants in Glasgow and was screened at a prestigious event held at the Scottish Parliament. During COP26, two of his climate-focused documentaries, 'Silence of the Lamb and the Birds and the Fishes and Us' and 'Farin's Flock of Sheep', were selected for online exhibition by Film Access Scotland, with support from Make Scotland Beautiful and Creative Scotland.

His theatrical prowess has undeniably left an indelible mark on Glasgow's vibrant multi-cultural landscape. Tareq, alongside academic and professional theatre experts, co-directed the enthralling play 'MEMORi' at the internationally acclaimed venue 'Tramway' during a theatre festival organised by the National Theatre Scotland (NTS). This powerful production not only represented Glasgow city and its people but also delved into the moving experiences of individuals during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971, offering audiences a compelling glimpse into history. Furthermore, his stirring play 'Kobor After' took centre stage at the Mitchell Theatre during the Glasgow Language Festival in 2019, captivating audiences with its deeply resonant narrative and evocative storytelling, enriching the cultural fabric of the city.

In addition to his artistic endeavours, Tareq actively contributes to global dialogues as a participatory co-artist representing Scotland in the international artists' collective known as the 'Conference of Birds (COTB)'. Drawing inspiration from the metaphorical journey depicted in the 14th-century Sufi poem by Fariduddin Attar, the group traverses seven valleys through creative expression, seeking enlightenment. Tareq's involvement in this initiative underscores his dedication to exploring profound human themes through the medium of art.

Tareq's commitment to nurturing young talent and fostering community engagement is evidenced through his involvement in various mentoring and educational initiatives. He supervised a group of young individuals in the 'Social Action Project' facilitated by the British Council, guiding them in the production of a documentary titled 'Nature and Us', which confronts the pressing issue of climate change. Additionally, he provides mentorship to the youth involved in 'Our Shared Cultural Heritage (OSCH)', nurturing their skills in public speaking and facilitating the formation of a debate club.

A testament to his leadership and community spirit, Tareq serves as a trustee of the Bangladesh Association Glasgow and held the esteemed position of President from 2021 to 2023, leveraging his expertise to further the organisation's mission.

Reflecting on his myriad endeavours, Tareq humbly acknowledges the collaborative efforts of his exceptional team within the community, as well as the support from Glasgow Museums, the British Council, and the National Theatre Scotland. He attributes the success of their collective initiatives, both during and after the pandemic, to their unwavering dedication and shared vision.