NBA star Gasol makes quiet visit to Bangladesh


Spanish basketball superstar Pau Gasol quietly visited Bangladesh this week as a goodwill ambassador of UNICEF and paid visits to several Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar district.
Gasol, the 38-year old Spanish player, who won two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008-09 and 2009-10 respectively, arrived in Bangladesh on August 5 to observe the conditions of the children world’s biggest refugee camp.
The renowned basketball player is scheduled to leave Bangladesh today after spending five days with the Rohingya children and their families in different camps in Cox’s Bazar.
During his visit, Gasol tweeted several posts, including photos and videos in his official twitter account related to the current situations in the Rohingya camps, highlighting the sufferings of displaced Muslim refugees from Myanmar.
‘I’m with UNICEF in Bangladesh, in Cox’s Bazar, the city that houses the largest refugee camp in the world. More than 700,000 children and their families have passed through here from the Rohingya community during the last year,’ Gasol tweeted on August 6.
Gasol appreciated UNICEF’s role in order to make those Rohingya children feel comfortable through art and play after suffering enormous losses since the previous year.
Gasol also used a hash-tag with ‘ChildrenUprooted’ – a programme run by the UNICEF to support a refugee child, an internally displaced person or a migrant.
Gasol who won two Olympic silver medals, an Olympic bronze medal, a FIBA World Cup title and three EuroBasket titles with the Spanish national basketball team, also observed several problems that were faced by the children in those camps.
‘Thousands of Rohingya children face hurricanes and monsoons, which can leave flooded camps, devastated homes, disease outbreaks,’ he tweeted on August 7.
In his last tweet on August 7, Gasol pleaded support for these Rohingya children, who were living in shadows in those camps.
‘Rohingya refugee children have lost everything. We can’t give up on them. There are solutions to protect the future of ChildrenUprooted from their homes,’ he said.
Gasol, who is hugely popular in Spain and among the basketball fans of other countries, is the latest celebrity to visit the Rohingya camps in past months as goodwill ambassador for different UN agencies.
Japanese musician and actor Miyavi, Indian film actress Priyanka Chopra, Bangladesh cricketer Sakib al Hasan, Australian actress Cate Blanchett, French actor Omar Sy, French music producer DJ Snake were among other celebrities to visit Rohingya camps in recent months.