A Bangladeshi Who Brightens The Image of His Motherland
Abdul Wahed Mahfuz
An agricultural entrepreneur in Florida
Bangladeshi-origin American Abdul Wahed Mahfuz is one of them who have contributed to the economy of agriculture in Florida, one of the important states of the United States. He is widely familiar as ‘Mahfuz’. He comes from an aristocratic and educated family of Barkal upazilla of Chattogram district and has been residing in America for over 40 years. Although Abdul Mahfuz and his family have been living in America for many years he didn’t forget his roots. He is working as an “architect” in Florida because he is growing Bangladeshi fruits and vegetables on 300 bighas of land which is an effort to recreate Bangladesh in America. He has cultivated various kinds of crops including gourd, bean, ladies finger, red spinach, pumpkin, potato, cabbage, chili pepper, maize etc. There is also a variety of local fishes available in his 25 acre pond.
The name of Abdul Mahfuz’s father is Late Abdul Hai and mother Anowara Begum. They both were social workers and education. Architects Besides providing higher education, they inspired their children to go to developed countries. By dint of their inspiration, the elder brother of Abdul Mahfuz went to America and started living there permanently from the Pakistan period. He is the first Bangladeshi who has started doing business in Florida. He isn’t only considered as an established entrepreneur among Bangladesh but also he is well-known in Florida as one of the best business personality.
Even after becoming a well-established businessman and entrepreneur, he feels something is missing. He feels the need urge to do more. With a view to fulfilling his emptiness, he bought 42 acres of land including a lake in Florida. He took various kinds of seeds including gourd, tomato, bean, chili, snake gourd etc from Bangladesh. Apart from these he also planted two hundred various kind local fruits plants including mango, jackfruit, bell apple, coconut etc. The look of his farm is very charming and beautiful. Besides his friends, many people go there to see the lush greenery.
Abdul Mahfuz, a luminary and successful agriculture entrepreneur, says that there is a Chinese fair where different kind of fruits and vegetables are displayed. When he consulted with his wife about cultivating fruits and vegetables, his wife encouraged him. The dream which he had been nurturing finally got the silent nod. Then, he started cultivating Bangladeshi fruits and vegetables in Florida. In fact, he took this initiative from hobby but now he is getting profit from this farm even after distributing crops among his relatives and friends. Both his projects encompas 42 and 37 acres of land respectively.
Abdul Mahfuz put great attention to this agricultural farm like his business and it is supervised by him. 22 people are working in his farm.
His wife, Nazmun Parvin is a female entrepreneur. She introduced the first Bangla television in Florida in 1994. She helps him in business and farm. The couple is blessed with a daughter Taslim Mahfuz and a son Tanjim Mahfuz. Both of their children received higher education. His (Abdul Mahfuz) brother’s elder daughter is also a physician. His daughter Taslim Mahfuz is a media personality who is working as News Caster at Washington News. His son gets himself engaged with creative activities besides his father’s business.
Abdul Mahfuz didn’t forget Bangladesh even after getting huge success in America. Whenever he gets time, he comes to his motherland. He established Barkal Abdul Hai Anowara Begum Girls’ High School at his own Barkal area naming after his parents names about 20 years ago. Through this school, Under priviledge girls have an opportunity to receive higher education. The school is fully funded by Abdul Mahfuz. He is now taking steps to establish a polytechnic institute. He believes that the young generation needs to provide technical education so that they can be protected from the curse of unemployment.
Abdul Mahfuz says, “He distributes fruits-vegetables among the devotees of mosques particularly during the month of Ramadan. An annual sports competition is organized at Barkal Abdul Hai Anowara Begum Girls’ High School every year, where ministers and luminaries of the country take part. According to Abdul Mahfuz and his wife, Bangladeshi community in the USA has brightened the image of Bangladesh through good initiatives and works.3