The Necessity of Personal Stories
While researching Myanmar’s history, gathering reports from international aid organizations, and reading government documents and interviews with leadership help to understand the country’s connections to populism, connecting with the Rohingya Muslims through first-hand interviews and quotes is important. By listening to their experiences with discrimination and having to flee their homes in the midst of persecution, we can see how majority opinion can impact minority communities to the point of ethnic cleansing.
Refugees Recalling the Horrors
“It was early in the morning when the military came. I woke up to a big sound that sounded like a bomb blast. Then the shooting started and everyone was screaming. We ran for our lives. It was dark and there were people running all around us. It only took us thirty minutes to get to safety because our village is close to the border. But then some of us decided to go back. There were five of us. We were curious. We wanted to see what happened to the others. We crawled on our stomachs to the top of a hill, and looked down at our village. There were so many dead bodies. Some of them were my cousins. I saw a girl from school with three soldiers kneeling on top of her. They were covering her mouth so she wouldn’t scream. I felt so dizzy. I couldn’t stand up. I used to have a dream that I was going to grow up and help my family. I was studying hard. Now I don’t even know why I’d want to live in this world.”Rohingya male (anonymous)
“They raped us any way they pleased, with the intention of killing us after”
“If they don’t feel shame to do these crimes, then why should we be shy to tell the whole world?”
” I would rather drink poison than go back to Burma.”Rajuma Begum, a 20 year old Rohingya woman