Muhammad Halek’s Story, Myanmar

I kept thinking, what did I do wrong?

I faced a lot of persecution and discrimination in my homeland, when I was in school and in my workplace. I was forced to leave for Bangladesh and then, to Malaysia. From all my experience, I realised we all are human beings. But I feel like I am not a human being, I don’t have value. I have no dignity or worth.

I know in Malaysia, I am in a Muslim country, I am living with my Muslim brothers, I can pray freely and all that, but my status is a refugee status. Very few respect it. I have been here since 2007 and we always have to be scared of being arrested. But this is my Malaysia as well, when people insult it, I am going to be the first in line to defend it. This is my Malaysia. This is my home. But no one else believes it so that it is why I have to find resettlement.

I just had a daughter and she is a new born. But she is born into refugee status, I don’t know how to get her out of this. I look at her and I couldn’t stand it, I cried. I kept thinking, what did I do wrong? People say that bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people. I am still searching of what wrong deeds I have done.

I meet my Rohingya brothers here and we ask each other, “why are our opportunities like this?” The answer is, “Because we are Muslims.” “Why don’t we have dignity?” “Because we are Muslims.” “Why don’t we have any value anywhere?” “Because we are Muslims.”

But is it wrong to be a Muslim? This is my choice! I still believe in Allah. I am still waiting for something good and I have hope for the future.

1 family torn apart by war is too many

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