The essence of the light shines through and the glimmer of hope appear in the moonlight. “
After our rape ordeal Ayesha was never the same again, she barley spoke and even though food was usually scarce she hardly ate even when we did have food. Mostly I would have to force her to eat. What we have been through is inhuman, the inhumane conditions we endured are unexplainable . I can’t even call those soldiers animals because animals would never do such a thing. They are sadistic monsters. My days were filled with so much hate and anger and I often felt like breaking down but I knew I couldn’t. Ayesha needed someone, she needed a rock. I knew I had to put my needs aside and be there for her.
That afternoon the soldiers came and demanded we sign papers that said we were Bengalis. An old man standing not far ahead of us cried while repeating over and over that he was Rohginya. The officials asked him to prove he was Rohingya with documents dating back a few generations, there was no way he would be able too since the Rakhine Buddhists set his home alight and he had ran out carrying only his grandson. The old man fell to the floor crying like a child, we all knew his pain. We are Rohignya we belong here but we had no choice but to follow the soldiers commands as they forced us all to sign that we were ‘Bengali’ or accept a brutal beating or even imprisonment.
I didn’t know what these documents we signed meant; could we now settle in Bangladesh? Did it mean we could belong some where we all looked at each other confused. When a lady told me that she had tried crossing the border with her family but the government of Bangladesh had turned them all back claiming it had its own problems. We are stuck here, no one wants us and we are without an identity. We have no place we can call home, we sit around the camps willing death to come faster.
That moment realization hit , the earth seemed to be spinning at an extreme speed and I understood we were nowhere people and if we didn’t really exist then no one would come to help us and if no one came to help us then there would be no one to tell our story to the world.
When it was my turn, I signed the papers as I was ordered and as I stepped back from the table I understood that I had just erased more than 800 years of my family living in this country along with my culture and language. I had ceased to exist. I had given up my right to exist without a fight. There was no way out.
At night we always spoke about our future plans , these always included leaving Burma to go to Thailand or Malaysia to make something of ourselves. I have always wanted to be a teacher and being deprived of basic education myself I fully appreciated the value of an education.