by Ali Khan
Republican Party Campaign Director Paul Manafort first introduced Bangladeshi Dr Prince Moosa bin Shamsher, PhD, to former President George W. Bush Sr.
That was in San Diego on August 15, 1996, and Dr Prince Moosa remembers it vividly as if it were yesterday. “Much to my embarrassment, Paul said: ‘Mr President, permit me to introduce to you DDrMoosa bin Shamsher, the only business tycoon and multi-billionaire from Bangladesh’”.
“As he gave me a warm steady handshake the President’s eyes locked on mine and he said: ‘It’s always good to meet a success from Sheikh Mujib’s land. I wish there were more from there,” and smiled.
“Then he told Paul, ‘I know something you don’t. This is the flamboyant business tycoon who’s been dominating the world’s weapon industry since long ago’.”
Mr Manafort informed him Dr. Moosa was an emissary from His Majesty, Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia who had vital issues to discuss relating to Muslims in Europe
“President Bush then put his arm on my shoulder and escorted me from a group of VIPS that had encircled him, to some empty chairs nearby for a chat in private. We spoke at length about the problems Muslims were facing in Europe and I successfully concluded the mission on which I had been sent. At his initiation, we then spoke about Bangabandhu and the development problems that plagued Bangladesh. To my surprise, he knew a lot about Bangabandhu and Bangladesh, which was something I hadn’t expected.
“That was the first of many encounters I had with him and as time went on, each one became more friendlier than the previous,” Dr. Prince Moosa said.
Over the years their friendship grew, the pair went on to make a formidable team and together they engaged in a number of projects and contributed to the wellbeing of a number of countries, including Bangladesh.
The tycoon said he admired the statesmanship of President Bush above everything else. “His demeanour was of the highest order. He spoke in a soft, but authoritative voice and had the ability to make you feel comfortable and important in his presence. Among his many aptitudes, he was a great listener and listened attentively to everything you said without interruptions.
“There are many leaders around the world who fail to make this vital connection with people, but President Bush, a gentleman and natural statesman, had the ability to make people feel important.
“Over the years we exchanged seasonal greetings and chatted by phone fairly regularly, but when he fell ill I put a stop to the phone calls in consideration of his state of ailing health.
“Much has been said, and will be said about President Bush Senior; some good, some bad, but I will always cherish the quality time we shared together. I think he was one of the most remarkable Presidents of the USA in its entire history and many leaders worldwide could learn much from him.
“I had hoped to meet with him again next year, but it’s not to be. May almighty God comfort his family at this time and shower his love and blessings upon him,” Dr. Prince Moosa said.
by Ali Khan