The Sold Dream Of Rohigniya part 2

THE SOLD dream of Rohigniya 


My name is Amina and this is my story…… 

The stunning lush pastures of Rahkine are mesmerizing. One would have to see this place to believe it exists. The lush land is so fertile it could easily feed us all but racism, hatred and apartheid have resulted in many Rohingya being forced to go without decent food or clean water because we are stuck in IDP camps and many Buddhist shops refuse to sell us food . 

In recent years ethic cleansing by the Rahkine Buddhists has left us displaced, starving and stateless. They forced us to flee the land we love, causing major disparity in the male to female ratio. Many men have fled to neighbouring countries leaving more women and children to fend for themselves in the “concentration camps”. 

My sister Ayesha and I were sent to these camps a while ago, I have no idea where my parents are. We have tried to look for them and find some sort of answers but we have come up empty handed. 

Ayesha is my elder sister, she is 22 and I am 19. This encounter has brought us closer together and made us so co-dependent that leaving this hell hole seems impossible without her. 

My story begins the night the Buddhist came to torch our homes. Our only option was to flee for fear of our lives. Yes we had known about the outbreak of violence but like many we sat in our homes hoping it would never happen in our neighbourhood.  

Then one night it did. Ayesha grabbed my hand and we ran, we ran for our lives, hoping to find a saviour. That did not happen because soon enough we were picked up, thrown in the back of a truck and no one would tell us where we were going. The soldiers glaring gaze’s made us feel like pieces of meat. I had a bad feeling but I kept it to myself as Ayesha looked back at our village burning in the distance. 

Ayesha reminisced about the life she would have led. She had applied to get married to one of the boys my father had found suitable for her. The boy worked on the farms with my father and I remember him saying to Ayesha that a man with faith who does his duty to God is one who will look after his wife because he fears the punishment of God. Ayesha had agreed and they had a meeting and a date was set provided the government would allow it. They both applied pleading their case for marriage. Two days ago they had gotten approval and then the massacres had started. I could see in her eyes she was worried about him, but in this situation you have to forget the life you leave behind and learn to release your dreams.  

The journey to the camps lasted a while and when we arrived I looked around was horrified. These make shift tents were so flimsy and would provide no protection once the monsoon season set in.  The stench was off-putting since the camps were near rubbish dumps and the water that ran into a small stream that was polluted by human faeces. 

I was shocked, this was supposed to be our safety net but it turned out to be a hell hole! They had left the Rohingya Muslims here to die!  

We were then shoved into one of the overcrowded tents. We clung to each other and we closed our eyes, for the first time it was easier to sleep and escape reality then to relive the horror that had taken place. 

I rested on Ayesha’s lap and I felt her tears drop down on my face, I didn’t know what to say or how to comfort her in this time of need. So I sat in silence, it was so deafening that it ate part of my soul as the hours became days.  

Bangladesh, Teknaf, 25-07-2003 Teknaf Makeshift Camp, illegaal vluchtelingenkamp voor Birmese Rohingya zonder status. Foto: Johannes Abeling
Bangladesh, Teknaf, 25-07-2003
Teknaf Makeshift Camp, illegaal vluchtelingenkamp voor Birmese Rohingya zonder status.
Foto: Johannes Abeling

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