Two Rohingya refugees outside in Bangladesh

Who are Rohingya Refugees? Part 1

No one wants them.

Squalid, hastily constructed camps near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh are the only places they can find refuge, the only places they can call home. But these camps are anything but safe and look nothing like home. No words can convey the magnitude of the Rohingya refugee crisis. Every person who crosses the border has their own horrific tale of loss.

Their stories deserve to be told.

A ‘Good Samaritan’ Survivor

Tragedy does not discriminate between the young and the old.

73-year-old Aaid lived in Myanmar with his wife and grandson, until the day his home was attacked.

Within minutes the whole village went up in flames.

Aaid and his family began to run, faster and faster through the fields. He thought of nothing he left behind – his land, cows, and home – thinking only of protecting his family as they fled.

But Aaid’s wife and grandson were shot while fleeing the village. One moment they were running beside him, the next they were gone.

“I miss my wife every single day. I miss her the most of all the things I’ve lost. I cried and wanted to be with her, but when she died I had to leave her behind because they were still coming after us.”

Before Aaid could escape the terror in his village, he noticed a small boy crying for his mother in the streets. With no family in sight and homes burning around them, Aaid scooped him up without hesitation and continued to run. In that moment, the boy became his own.

A Rohingya refugee sits with a little boy in a camp in Bangladesh

For three days Aaid and this little boy carefully made their way to the border on foot, struggling through mud that reached to the tops of Aaid’s knees.

After days of no food and with only the clothes on their backs, they finally reached an unofficial camp in Bangladesh.

Today, Aaid is at a loss. Plagued with breathing problems and difficulty walking, all Aaid can do is sit and wait. Wait to return home, a day that – in his lifetime – will never come.

It’s alarming how little attention the Rohingya refugee stories receive. The Rohingya need our prayers and our help. Right now, World Concern is responding in practical ways as the Rohingya refugee crisis continues to grow.

To read more about Aaid and the story of Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh, click here.