They are ordinary people like us. They had lives, families and they had dreams.
However, everything got upside down within few days. They found themselves under fire; they left their homes and everything behind heading to nowhere..
They are the Rohingya Muslims who are making headlines nowadays. The most persecuted minority who suffer all kinds of torture and oppression because of their religion.
These lines will tell you stories told by Rohingya people who fled Myanmar to Bangladesh.
Read their stories, pray for them and help them by all means as possible as you can.
My name is Rashida and I’m 25 years old. Before the Arakan revolution, I lead a very quiet and simple life. We had some paddy fields which we farmed and I had a house where we lived with my husband and our three children. It was peaceful, and we were very happy until the crisis.
We have left all that behind now. Our house and fields have been burned so we can not earn our living there anymore.
When the military started shooting in our village, we quickly took my children into the jungle and hid them; they were scared from the dangers in the wild. But, when I went back to check on the house, I saw right in front of my eyes, that many people had been killed.
From the jungle, we walked for eight days until we reached the border. We were very hungry and had nothing to eat except leaves off the trees. The children kept asking for food, but we could not carry anything with us, only my three children.
We crossed the border on a small boat, it felt very dangerous and I thought it was going to sink, so I was clutching my children tightly.
We are not getting enough support here. The Bangladeshi people are being very kind and are donating clothes and food, but I have not seen any international organization. I wish they would help us, too – we need food to eat.
My message to the outside world is that we want peace, we have no future without peace.
I miss our home. We feel hopeless here, I have no idea what our future will be now.
My names is Jashim and I am 12 years old. Before the crisis, I was at school studying. My favourite subject was English because I thought that if I knew how to speak English then I could communicate with many people across the world and express my opinion to them. I hope I can continue studying soon because I want to become a teacher.
When the military came into our village we had to run away and hide. I saw lots of soldiers, maybe 100 or 200. They were shooting at us and burning down our houses – I was very afraid.
We hid in the jungle and then started walking to Bangladesh. It took 13 days so sometimes we had to stop in the jungle and make ourselves shelters out of the forest.
It was a difficult journey, we crossed big hills and some small rivers. While we were walking, I was always afraid that the military would be around the corner, and just before we reached Bangladesh, we had to be careful because the military had planted little bombs under the ground that would explode if we walked on them.
I’m very upset about my village because it’s not there any more. We did not bring anything, so it is all lost. I came with my mother but my father is still in Rakhine State. He told us to save ourselves and that he would join us at a later date, but we don’t know where he is and we have not heard from him.
I’m worried the military found him or he stepped on a small bomb. I’m glad that we are safe, but it is difficult here because there are no houses to live in and we have to sleep on the wet ground.
My message to the world is that we are citizens of Myanmar, if they were to declare us citizens, we would be very happy. This is what we want.
For all my life, all 24 years of it, I’ve been a prisoner in this open air jail you know as Rakhine State.
I was born in Myanmar, as were my parents, but my citizenship was snatched away before I was even conceived.
We’re facing extinction, and unless the international community stands with us, one of the most persecuted people in the world, we will face genocide and you, you will all be a party to it.
My movement, education, access to healthcare and career have been heavily restricted because of my ethnicity.
I’m banned from working in the government, denied the right to pursue higher education, barred from visiting the capital, Yangon, and even stopped from leaving northern Rakhine State.
I’m subjected to the worst form of discrimination, all because I’m a Rohingya – a Rohingya Muslim.
For years, my people, who have been denied their most basic rights, are killed on a near daily basis. Shot dead in plain sight, forcibly and systematically made homeless, our homes razed in front of our very eyes; we’re the victims of a brutal state.
For you to fully appreciate what our conditions are like, I’m going to use an analogy: imagine a mouse stuck in a cage with a hungry cat. That’s what it’s like for the Rohingya.
Our only method of survival is to run, or hope someone helps us get out.