Usraat Fahmidah from Rajuk Uttara Model College and Tanvir Rahman Khan from Dhaka College made it to the 40th International Philosophy Olympiad, held in Slovenia from May 27 to 30. Usraat earned the first ever honourable mention for Bangladesh at the event, which was organised online.
Bangladesh has been participating in this competition since 2014. Every year, Philosophical Society of Bangladesh organises this Olympiad, with divisional and national rounds. After being selected at the national level, two students get to represent the country internationally.
This year, over fifty countries participated in the event in the presence of renowned American philosopher, linguist, and historian Noam Chomsky, who exchanged views with the participants.
The essay competition took place after the opening ceremony. The event also included meetings, seminars, and sessions featuring Noam Chomsky, renowned professors, and philosophy enthusiasts from around the world. One of the main attractions was the Philosophy café.
This year marked Usraat's second participation in the event. She was a winner in the National Olympiad last year. She said, "I am a science student, and philosophy was not as lucrative to my parents before. But after the competition, they are proud and happy. This Olympiad excites me in many ways. I aim to study Politics, Philosophy and Economics."
Tanvir took part in this competition twice before. He was a runner-up in the National Olympiad in 2019 and 2020. "When I was in the eighth grade, I developed a knack for logical reasoning, and presenting oppositions," he said. "That is how my passion for philosophy began. I got the chance to attend philosophy classes with my seniors in college. This competition helped me a lot with building cases, and layering my thoughts. I am pursuing a dual major in Philosophy and Linguistics."
The author is a freelance journalist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.