©Kazuo Koishi

Muhammad, 11 -Testimony of Rohingya

While listening to the story of a 11-year-old boy who never showed a smile, I wondered if he was at the age when a teen’s voice changes, his voice sounded hoarse. To questions he would spend time thinking before answering. His father was shot dead in front of him, the boy himself shot bullets before escaping and running away to Bangladesh and escaped without any treatment. In what state of mind did he cross the river and mountain?
At the camp he looks after his 6 young brothers, because there are no more adult men in his family. The shelter where they live is nothing more than that of other families, they live in extreme poverty, and there is not even electricity.

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©Kazuo Koishi

I arrived in Bangladesh on 25th August 2017. I live with my mother and six younger brothers here. I am the eldest son. My biggest concern is that there is no food, especially meat and fish. 
Muhammad 11才 In Myanmar, I lived in a village close to the border with Bangladesh. That day (August 25, 2017), the army came and burned my house. My father was shot by a soldier with a gun and died. I was also shot here (abdomen). We couldn’t take care of my wound so we fled right away to Bangladesh, as soon as I arrived in Cox’s Bazar I was taken to a hospital where I underwent surgery.
When it all happened I was home with my father but I didn’t die and I am here today.
It’s hot here, I do not like it. I have not even gone to school. At least I have friends. In Myanmar, I also went to Madrasa (a school that teaches the foundation of Islam). I would like to go to a similar school now. I want to return to Myanmar, because my father is there. I want to go to his grave.
Now, what I need most is gas in order to cook, then medicine. I have insufficient medicine and it does not work.
I think that the government of Myanmar should give citizenship to Rohingya. Then we could go home. On our land, we should be able to move freely anywhere as we please, we should be able to study. And finally violence and discrimination should stop.
I have a favor to address to the government of Japan: help to make Myanmar work towards these changes.
My father was an Imam. When I become an adult, I want to become like my father, an Imam (Muslim leader), I want to teach the Koran to the little children.
©Kazuo Koishi
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