Rohingya poet & photographer
Seeking asylum, Germany
I fled with other Rohingya after many waves of violence from the Myanmar military in August 2017. It was the fastest refugee outflow in the world. We each have our stories to tell.
As a poet and photographer, I want to show what it is like for Rohingya refugees on a daily basis in the camps in Cox’s Bazaar.
A Poem to Bangladesh
Our homes, placid tapestries woven
In streams and dales, were burnt down
With the fire from rocket launchers.
A fabric swallowed in the blaze of artillery,
A genocide unravelling behind us as we fled,
The screams of women coiled around the mountains.
Orphans of a nation crossing the border,
Bangladesh took us in, saved us from the
Fires of an abusive father nation.
We cannot forget their kindness
But our lives now are fading and useless.
As life churns out new generations,
Each lost further in exile.
We hope we will not be forgotten
Before we too are gone.
Time now is tinted with pain.
We tell the world each day
And wonder how many times
We have to repeat ourselves
Until our words are given meaning.
How many more days will we have
To stay, separated from the lives
We should be living. Lost time,
A blood-soaked clock wrapped
Inside a faded UNHCR tarpaulin.
Yaa Rabb! Yaa Allah!
Even within the walls of the refugee camp,
They’ve cut us off from one another.
The soldiers stole our telephones
And the government shut down the
Cellular towers. So we could languish
Even more isolated than we’ve been.
We can see our old homes across the river
But cannot contact our family
Members who were left behind.
It was a small shred of hope we had left
And now it fades too.
To the people of the world:
What was our fault that causes us to suffer so?
How can you watch us and never move?
— Azad Mohammed
from Rohingya Dreams: Poetry Anthology by Rohingya Refugee Poets