Taj Iman Ahmad Ibn Munir (Bangladesh and USA)
Taj was raised in the United States but spent the better part of his adulthood in Bangladesh as a social reformer, activist, mediator and humanitarian, championing the cause of human dignity.
Taj’s journey began during a short, ten-day trip to Bangladesh in 2005. The social and economic disparities Taj had witnessed mingling with the urban elite, and then later with the rural poor, catalyzed within him the beginnings of a transformative change. Upon returning to his home in the United States he began soul-searching, re-examining his place in the world through the lenses of philosophers and the great spiritual traditions of the past and present. In 2006, affirmed in his convictions, Taj left behind both his life as a martial arts instructor as well as his aspirations to become a marine corps officer, and moved to Bangladesh. There he founded his humanitarian organization and social movement, Jaagoron (“Awakening” in English), which champions the cause of human dignity particularly among the poor, the downtrodden, and disenfranchised. He has presided over Jaagoron as its president since its inception.
Alongside his work with Jaagoron, Taj served, from 2006-2011 as Director of Operations and later as the Chief Operating Officer of The Optimists, a US-based charitable NGO working in Bangladesh to support hundreds of underprivileged youth across the country to complete their education. Taj has, in 2007, also served as a research assistant to Barrister Amirul Islam (Amir & Amir Law Associates), one of the leading revolutionaries who helped birth Bangladesh taking part in forming its first government during the War of Liberation in 1971 and helping draft its Constitution of 1972.
He is the host of the Quest and Conquest podcast (calltocause.life) which seeks to motivate its audience to personal transformation and ideal living, drawing inspiration from fabled legends, Christian and Buddhist monks, Islamic civilization, the Samurai and more. He was invited by the United States Senate and Congress to the National Prayer Breakfast in 2020 as a representative of Bangladesh and his humanitarian organization, Jaagoron (“Awakening”). There, he delivered a talk to attendees in the spirit of Muslim-Christian interfaith harmony and understanding. He has been invited to deliver talks internationally in venues and forums spanning the United States, Canada, India and Thailand. Within Bangladesh, he has been invited to deliver talks and seminars at the National Press Club, schools, universities, NGOs, villages and business establishments. He has counseled disaffected students & youth, working-adults lacking motivation and has helped resolve conflicts in both family and political contexts. He is passionate about deconstructing and reviving the ideals upon which Bangladesh’s freedom was fought for and won and often publishes in the country’s largest Bangla and English daily newspapers about his grandfather Tajuddin Ahmad’s stewardship of the fledgling nation toward that end.
Taj joined the In Peace, Amr team as Research and Training Associate in 2021 with a view to contextualizing his experiences handling and resolving political and societal conflicts during his time in Bangladesh. Taj aims to assist in developing and supplementing Dr. Abdalla’s existing Peace and Conflict Resolution theoretical frameworks with practical protocols.
After his extensive work in Bangladesh for 15 years, Taj returned to University of Maryland in 2020 to complete the degree he had started years ago in Political Sciences. He will graduate in July 2021.