A couple of days ago, we a team of four members from the University of Dhaka went to observe the situation of the Rohingya people at the sub-district of Ukhia. We spoke to Arafat Hossain, a Rohingya Madrasah teacher who is currently teaching at "Darul Erfan"—one of the new Madrasahs in Ukhia. What follows is an excerpt of our conversation.
As-salamu alaykum, how are you?Wa alaykumu as-salam. By the mercy of Allah, fine.
How many students and teachers are in this madrasah?
There are about 150 students and 21 teachers in this madrasah.
From where do you get financial support to run this madrasah?
Alhamdulillah, people who are capable contribute here as well as some organizations like UFP and UNICEF provide assistance. Moreover, many people come to visit and donate money.
What was your profession when you were in Arakan?I was a teacher of a local Madrasah which was run by the help of local people. That madrasah has been destroyed.
What about your country's education system?
Actually, we can't study in university as you can. Before 2012 some universities allowed Rohingyas to study. After 2012, all of the universities of Myanmar have closed their doors to Rohingyas for good. We can take secondary education only. We can't become a doctor or engineer or lawyer as you can.
How is your life going on in Bangladesh?
Alhamdulillah. Bangladesh is helping us a lot, and some Muslim countries are providing financial support.
What's your aim now? Will you go back to your country?
If not only Myanmar but the UN gives us the ascertainment that we will not be killed or tortured and our women will not be raped, then we can go back.
That means you don't believe the surety that has been given by Myanmar?
How could we believe that when my brothers are still being killed and women who couldn't escape are being raped? We want freedom and peace so that we can live freely. We do not want to be a burden upon any country; although Bangladesh is enduring this and we thank her.
The interviewer is a student of Dhaka University