Please consider supporting our project to publish in indigenous languages

Zakaria Rehman rehman.zakaria at GMAIL.COM
Fri Mar 7 12:48:57 UTC 2014

Dear Tim Brookes

I am really glad to hear that you have taken initiative to produce some
books for the indigenous children in CHT. I have started working on Hyow in
2006 (I was an undergrad student then), primarily as a research assistant
of David Peterson (Chair, Program in Linguistics and Cognitive Science,
Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH). Currently, I am enrolled in a PhD program
at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, under the supervision of
Dr. Alexander Coupe. Hopefully, I will be writing a grammar of Hyow.

I have grown a good friendship with the Hyow people in last 7-8 years.
Recently I visited Khamtangpara (Roangsori, Bandarban) and talked to the
Headman and other people about working on their writing system. I myself
was thinking about doing some storybooks for the Hyow children as an
appreciation to the community for sharing their knowledge with me. But, it
would take some time for me as I have just started my PhD.

I will be more than happy to help you if you need any from me. I wish you
all the best with your work.


Muhammad Zakaria
PhD Candidate, Linguistics and Multilingual Studies
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

2014-03-07 3:25 GMT+08:00 Brookes, Tim <brookes at>:

> Good day! You have probably heard from me before in my capacity as founder
> of the Endangered Alphabets Project. I'm now working with my students at
> the Champlain
> College Publishing Initiative (at Champlain College in Burlington,
> Vermont, USA) along with the nonprofit organization Our
> Golden Hour in an effort to publish four children's books in the
> endangered languages of the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh. We are
> hoping to raise money to publish and ship these books through a Kickstarter
> fundraising campaign.
> The Chittagong Hill Tracts, as you may know, are home to 13 indigenous
> peoples each with their own distinct
> cultural identity, history, and traditions. Many have their own
> languages, but those languages, and the culture they are a part of, are
> in danger of being erased.
> Virtually all schools in the Chittagong Hill Tracts teach classes in
> Bangla, the country¹s official national language.
> However Bangla is not a language spoken in the Hill Tracts, and as a
> result the children¹s education is difficult, confusing, frustrating,
> and
> often futile. By second grade, 35% of students drop out, and that number
> jumps to 65% by fifth grade. Fewer than 2% complete their education.
> In an effort to preserve the indigenous cultures of the region through
> improving educational materials, the Champlain College Publishing
> Initiative has launched a Kickstarter in order to fund the writing,
> illustration, and publishing of four books for the children of the
> Chittagong Hill Tracts.
> Saving these endangered languages and cultivating education within the
> Hill Tracts is not possible without support.  Please head to our
> Kickstarter page and check out our cause at
> I recognize only too well that academics are paid poorly and have little
> disposable cash lying around. If all you do is pass on the word of our
> campaign, though, that will surely help.
> Best wishes,
> Tim Brookes
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