Featuring … the IOB ALUMNI Panel
Because Exchange to change is an alumni magazine, we felt that the
alumni‘s voice should echo louder! Therefore, we proudly present our
alumni panel. Four alumni (re)introduce themselves and share with you
their views on the topics tackled in our magazine.
Firas Arafat | Toronto, Canada
Master of globalisation and economic development | 2003
Living with …my partner Jennifer, my son Zein and our dog
Scaramouche. Jennifer is in the final stages of her doctoral studies in public health and focuses most of her research
on exploring the impact of social media and online gaming
on youth and addiction. My son Zein is 10 years old. He’s a
very smart and curious little guy. He was born in Canada a
few short months after I finished my studies in Belgium.
He’s very proud of his mix of multinational backgrounds
including Palestinian, Irish and Canadian. Finally, the
last member of our small family is our dog, Scaramouche, who we adopted from an animals
rescue organization. His unique name
comes from the song Bohemian
Rhapsody by Queen.
Tanvir Mahmud | Dhaka, Bangladesh
Master of Globalisation and Development | 2010
Living with...my wife ‘Kona’ and one year old son ‘Taysir’.
René Claude Niyonkuru | Bujumbura,
Master of Governance and Development | 2013
Diana Méndez Ardila | Bogotá, Colombia
Master of Governa nce and Development | 2013
Living with … a roommate and probably soon enough with my
I have a lot of really good memories about my time at IOB, it is hard
to pick one. However, I would say one of the most precious memories
is the celebration of my birthday. My friends took me to eat pork ribs
in an ‘All you can eat’ restaurant near the cathedral. After, we went
to Renata and Van’s place where they had prepared a surprise
which included cake, wine and bolinhos de chocolate, a Brazilian
dessert cooked by my dearest friend at IOB. I had a lot of fun.
I prefer to come back home as soon as I complete my outside
work to avoid high sound pollution and huge traffic jam in Dhaka.
Generally, I used to visit frequently in my quiet and calm hometown-Rajshahi and other few parts of the country like Bandarban,
Sylhet, Coxs Bazar and Kuakata, if I can manage time during
weekend or holiday.
Living with … my wonderful family, my wife and my 3 kids, and
we are blessed to have very kind neighbours around. It’s a clean
but sometimes noisy area, but we really like it.
If ever you pass through Bujumbura, … do not leave out a stop at
Café Gourmand for bakery and ice cream. For those who want to
enjoy the beauty of nature and fresh air in the capital city, go to
the“Jardin Public”, the most green and relaxing place in the capital
city, or to the beach of Lake Tanganyika, one of the most precious
lakes in the world where you can see hippos and many kinds of
birds in their natural environment and enjoy all kinds of water
sports, before eating a fresh Mukeke, a tasty fish that
cannot be found anywhere else in the world except in