“A Place To Be, A Longing For Home: Twelve Stories of Rohingya Men and Boys Living as Refugees in Bangladesh” captures a glimpse of the lives of twelve Rohingya men: six who were born and raised in the refugee camp, ranging from 7 to 30 years of age; another six arrived as boys or young men more recently. The narrators were all participants of a human rights education program aimed at Rohingya men and boys that ran between 2021-2022 conducted by AJAR and LWM, a civil society initiative that works to capture Bangladesh’s 1971 Liberation War history, with community collaboration at its heart.
This book is divided into two chapters. Chapter One presents the life stories of six Rohingya refugees born and raised in the Bangladesh refugee camps between 1992 and 2015. The six Rohingya who share their life stories have at least one thing in common: they were born into and know no life other than that of living in a refugee camp. While each of their life experiences have much in common, they are also unique, each with their own identity and perspective. Chapter Two presents the stories of six young men, who were born in Rakhine, Myanmar, but had to flee to Bangladesh after 2017.
This book complements another AJAR-LWM publication, “A Life Once Had, A Dream of Hope: Rohingya Women’s Voices from the Camps” which documents the life stories of 100 Rohingya women. Considering the total number of Rohingya refugees born and raised in the camp, and those who have arrived more recently, the stories of twelve Rohingya men and boys may seem like a very small drop of water in the ocean. But each and every life experience presents a unique voice of resilience. They invite you to hear their stories, and hope that they will touch your heart. We would like to thank all of the Rohingya survivors who shared their stories and dedicate this book to all ethnic minority groups facing persecution inside Myanmar.