The Refugee of The World
The Refugee of The World
Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, is a Rakhine Buddhist majority city, where the Rohingya situation is worse than in any other part of Myanmar and even there are some places, which are extremely danger for Rohingya Muslim; therefore, we, Rohingya students, had spent our university life, facing constant assault, discrimination and fear of danger, like living in an open-prison.
On January 5, 2010, I joined the University of Sittwe, in the faculty of science department; I completed the first semester in three months, and then took a two months break. During this time, I took computer and English-speaking courses at the Wisdom Computer Training Center in Sittwe.
The year 2012 was the beginning of Rohingyas’ destruction. The illegitimate, military government had implemented their planned systematic eradication of all Rohingyas, which the UN recently labelled “ a genocide;” they also incited deadly violence against the Rohingyas on 8 June 2012. The authorities ordered us to return to our home city, but it was extremely dangerous for us Rohingya students. We could not even go out to buy food, because Rakhine people surrounded the Rohingya village (Aung mingala), armed with knives, firing guns, and burning Rohingyas homes.
Nevertheless, I managed to escape the violence. On 7 July 2012, at midnight, my friends and I secretly left the village, contacted boat people and fled across the border of Bangladesh to save our lives.
I had to flee my country even before I could graduate and start life my life. It was not an incident, but a tragedy involving the systematic killing of human beings both by physically and emotionally, for no apparent reason. My only crime is being born from a different ethnic people and in a different part of the world. I was born in such an unfortunate place that I wished no mother would give ever give birth to a child in such a country.
I am sharing this story with you not with the purpose of spreading my misery, but to tell you that the freedom you have right now in your country is a gift. It is something that someone like me craves in my entire life to enjoy just one moment of it. Not everyone has the opportunity you have to pursue your dreams and goals in life. Therefore, I always say “life is not fair.” For people like me, a dream is what you love to watch as a “Fantasy movie.” It comes true only in dream, but never in real life.
I hope that sharing the experiences I have encountered on the journey with you, will help you to understand what it means to be free and how to best use your freedom. I also believe that sharing stories greatly encourages and motivates refugees and immigrants to investigate the possibilities and alternatives available out there, so that they may to pursue their dreams and goals in life. There are many who, just like myself, are eager to learn and improve their lives, but are struggling due to the lack of opportunity.
“Just because one door is closed, it does not mean it’s the end for all the others. If there is a will, there is always a way.”
I have faced continuous rejection from every university, because I don’t have the legal documentation required from a person in this world system. It feels like no matter what you look like as a person from the human race, you are always illegal unless you have this paper. The only thing that makes you a part of this modernized world is a vulgar piece of paper.
I remember something from Chaplin Charlie’s speech. He said “More than machinery we need humanity.” It has been at least 50 years since he said this. Now, this is the 21st century, we human beings should have changed. Unfortunately, from what I see, whilst we have improved dramatically in technology, we have remained the same in terms of our behaviors, attitudes and thoughts towards people of different skin colors and different backgrounds.
We lose ourselves in the pursuit of professional careers but we never spare a minute to learn how to become a " human being". You might think this is a ridiculous question, especially if one responds: I am already a human being…. What else there to learn! Well, just as you have to learn to become a doctor or engineer, you also have to learn how to be a real human being; there are many moral principles, concepts and other aspects which need to be exercised in our day to day lives.
“If all people were true human beings, there would be no wars or conflicts among us.”
Is it true that we live in a world that we, ourselves, have created and that, as a result, we only care for those with the same wealth, status, religion, nationality or color of skin? Is this all we have achieved? Making this kind of world as the reflection of the world that God has wanted to create for us because he loves us so much?
I have formed the belief that discrimination, racism and fascism are now the set ideology, selected to order societies in the capitalist system of the world.
Having left my country, I applied first to study in a Bangladesh university, and then in Malaysia, but both countries rejected my application only because I do not possess a passport. I later applied for scholarships in various countries, such as Germany, USA, and the UK. They also rejected me not because I had no passport, but because I lacked a travel document. I asked the UNHCR to issue me with such a document but was told that it was impossible because Indonesia is not a signatory to the UN Convention.
I was left with no hope of relying on any traditional university, but I did not give up. Rather, I found the motivation to do self-study. I used to think that education can be obtained only from schools and universities. It took me several months to understand what education really is.
Let me rewind the events of my life all the way back to the detention center in Manado (Indonesia). Having already been rejected by Bangladesh and Malaysia, I resolved to go to Australia, as I was told that I could pursue higher education without a passport there. This hope brought me to Indonesia, but things did not happen as planned; instead, I was arrested and sent to a detention center, where another chapter of my life began. To tell you the truth, it was the camp that changed my mind completely.
Education is nothing other than gaining knowledge and skills which may rely on important information from the past, the present and also the future, transferred from one person to another through teaching, researching, and training. It is all around us and you don’t need university or school to gain it: all you need is a positive attitude. If you have that then you can learn everywhere and anytime; it is what prepares you for your future.
Growing up, I was a very curious child and loved to pursue knowledge. I was not interested in making money. Instead, I had this dream of making something different and changing the world. I would say this to my mother “One day, you will see me doing something great and you will proud of me.” I believed by being educated I could bring changes for my people as I learnt education can help people to see the world from a different perspective. For example, if I look at the world from a general point of view, it is a most beautiful and healthy place to live in, but if I look at it from an educational viewpoint, I see that it’s controlled with invisible walls of rules and regulations, a system of great complexity. Thus, in order to play my role better within this complexity, I have to learn and train myself with education.
Continue...( Part 3)