Credit: MD Jamal, Rohingya volunteer
Once upon a time, there was a young Rohingya named Sirajul Islam, known as Ajus Khan on every social media platform.
Ajus lived in a small village called Maungdaw Baggona Para, in Myanmar, with family and friends, surrounded by lush green forests and rolling hills.
He loved their homeland and cherished the memories they had made there.
One day, the Myanmar military launched a brutal crackdown on the Rohingya population, forcing his family to flee their home. They escaped to Bangladesh and ended up in the largest Rohingya refugee camp in the world, located in Kutupalong, Ukhiya, Cox's Bazar.
Life in the refugee camp was difficult and painful. His family were forced to live in cramped, makeshift shelters with no privacy or comfort. They struggled to find enough food and clean water. There was no access to proper medical care.
Worst of all, there were no schools in the camp, which meant that Ajus and the other children had no opportunity to learn and grow.
Despite the harsh conditions, Ajus remained determined to survive and thrive. He spent his days helping his family and assisting his community, always searching for ways to make life better for those around them. He made new friends and found comfort in the support of others who had been through similar experiences.
Years passed and Ajus continued to live in the camps, always hoping for a better future. They remained strong and resilient, never giving up in the face of adversity. And although life in the camp was difficult, Ajust learned the true meaning of community and the power of hope.
Now, over five years later, Ajus remains in the camp, but his spirit remains unbroken. He knows that one day, he’ll be able to return to his homeland and rebuild their lives.
And until that day comes, Ajus will continue to fight for their survival and the endurance of his fellow refugees.
This is a personal reflection written by Sirajul Islam, a Rohingya youth located in Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. With special thanks to Tazeen Hasan.