In August 2017, violence erupted throughout Myanmar, targeting the Rohingya people - a stateless Muslim minority who had no choice but to flee their homes and lives in a bid for survival. Many arrived exhausted, weak with hunger and traumatised to overflowing camps in Bangladesh, in search of shelter and food.
As a stateless Muslim minority group in Myanmar, these people have faced discrimination, violence and extreme poverty for decades. Now, with their homes taken from them, they were making the dangerous crossing to Bangladesh day and night in order to save their lives, having not slept or eaten for days.
Facing the constant threat of exhaustion and starvation, it is estimated that 80% of these refugees are women and children – some of the most vulnerable members of society.
Sadeeqa 15, the eldest of five siblings, reached the camp with her paralyzed widowed mother, which saved their lives. Facing the bleak realities of life, she said:
“During the outbreak of the latest violence against innocent people, our house and belongings were burnt to the ground. Our other family members were shot. My mother once had partial paralysis and her condition caused us to face neglect and stigma in the community. Understanding my mother’s ordeal, I decided to quit school in third grade to help her in selling snacks in Myanmar. When violence started, we had to run for life by leaving our village. We are now living in cramped, unsanitary conditions in overcrowded, makeshift refugee camps.”
The occasion of Qurbani serves as a great example of Muslim solidarity, joined as one Ummah on this auspicious day. It brings people closer together and creates awareness amongst Muslims, especially with regards to making the Muslim community better and stronger through sacrifice and sharing.
AMWT believe that if our efforts are amalgamated together, then we can bring positive changes to the lives of people – like the Rohingya - who are hungrier, sicker and more vulnerable than they have been before. Our team on the ground served cooked Qurbani meat in the refugee camp in order to rejoice, regroup, and rekindle them.
Sadeeqa excitedly added,
“We are a very poor family. Getting this meat was a dream for us; I am so pleased with this Qurbani cooked meat that you gave to us today. My siblings are so happy; they’ve been asking me for meat all this time. May Almighty Allah bless you.”