East-West Center Oral History Project: Khalida Rashid

Khalida Rashid

Khaleda Rashid, an EWC student from 1977-1981, obtained her Master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning at UH followed by 5 months practical training in a local architectural consulting firm as an Assistant Architectural Planner.  In 1992, she went to Sweden for post graduate work.  From 1999 to 2001 she served as Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) making her the first woman to serve as dean of a faculty in Bangladesh.  From 1992-2004 she was a focal point of the Gender Equality Policy group of the University of Alberta and BUET, an Institutional Linkage Project funded by the Canadian International Development Group.  In 2006 Rashid served as a member of the Executive Board of the East-West Center Association.  She has wonderful memories of her life in the EWC dorms.



Read Rashid's interview narrative (pdf)


  • Personal Background
  • Life Before EWC - Applying for EWC
  • Life at EWC - Late ‘70s/Hale Kuahine - Scholarships/Spouses/Hale Manoa - Best Memories - International Days - Host Family - Inter-island trip - Negative Memories - Community Service Project
  • Life After EWC - Working in Hawaii - Designing Housing in Dhaka, Bangladesh - Community Service in Social Work - Gender Equality Work
  • EWC’s Impact - On Career, Perspectives - On Personal Life
  • Ties That Last - Alumni Network - Personal/Professional Legacy      


Interview Quotes
"I stayed in Hale Kuahine, a four-storied residential accommodation designed by famous architect I.M. Pei.  Hale Kuahine is a beautiful piece of architecture with a central courtyard of indefinable quality and intimate scale....  At that time women grantees occupied almost all the floors of Hale Kuahine...  It was basically women-dominated accommodation.  We used to go to the courtyard and talk loudly to get back the echoes.  We would call each other’s name to see how it sounded.  We could talk from one side of the inner corridor to the opposite one or the adjacent ones."


"I taught my roommate Sharon to wear sari, our national dress -- the unstitched six-yard cloth that we wrap around on top of a long petticoat, from waist up to ankles, and a tightly fitted short blouse.  With little bit of assistance Sharon could put it on but she had difficulty walking with it.  Only once she went out in a sari. ... Sharon and me, we became very friendly. She was from Chicago, but worked in Japan for about six/ seven years.  She understood Asian culture, trends and lifestyles very well, especially of women.  Till late at night even up to 2.00/ 3.00 a.m. in the morning we used to talk, share our experiences.  She would tell me about Japan and I would tell her about all the things that happened during the Liberation War.  The topic usually boiled down to gender-related issues and conditions of women even of mainland America.  Maybe because of these exchanges of experiences and thoughts I was inspired to be the gender focal point for over 12 years of an Institutional Linkage Program between University of Alberta, Canada and BUET [Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology]..."


These narratives, which reflect interviewees’ personal perceptions, opinions and memories, may contain errors of fact. They do not reflect positions or versions of history officially approved by the East-West Center.