I Am Rohingya: A Genocide in Four Acts chronicles the journey of fourteen Rohingya youth who take to the stage in order to depict their families' harrowing experiences in Burma and beyond; before, during, and immediately after the escalation of military violence in their native Rakhine state; their unforgiving escape by foot and by boat to makeshift refugee camps in Bangladesh; and their eventual resettlement in the unfamiliar Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
The documentary "I Am Rohingya" is coming to theatre in Ottawa (May 9), Toronto (May 11), and Waterloo (May 13). The team behind the film is partnering with local organizations in each city to host the screenings, such as Inter Pares in Ottawa, a non-governmental organization that has been working with human rights activists in Burma for decades.
"I Am Rohingya" chronicles the making of the play "I Am Rohingya" by a group of Rohingya refugee youth living in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario.
The Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative (CRDI) is a registered non-profit organization established by young members of the Rohingya community across Canada. CRDI works with prominent Canadians from different communities and organizations to advocate for the cause of Rohingya in Canada and abroad.
Rohingya Canadian youth, many of whom came as refugees to Canada, have been taking the lead in pushing for justice for their people in Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Rallies, fundraisers, and awareness raising events have been organized across Canada, often with young members of Canada's Rohingya community participating as speakers.
Rohingya youth, some members of the team originally involved in creating the play I Am Rohingya, co-founded the Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative, an organization which has been meeting with goverment officials in Canada and abroad to raising awareness about the plight of the Rohingya.
Bangladeshi Canadian Dr. Nabiha Islam is traveling to Bangladesh this month to provide medical relief to Rohingya refugees. She is currently fundraising online to help cover the costs of various medical services that will be offered to refugees through the charity Hope Foundation for Women and Children in Bangladesh.
Hope Foundation is a US-based charity run by the Bangladeshi diaspora. They run a 40-bed hospital in Ramu, Cox's Bazar, an area where many Rohingya refugees are settling in as it is only 10 km from the border with Myanmar.
Muslim Link interviewed Dr. Islam about why she is travelling to Bangladesh to help the Rohingya and what medical issues the refugees are facing.
In light of the current humanitarian crisis and violence being experienced by the Rohingya community in Myanmar/Burma and Bangladesh, Muslim Link is sharing the stories of Rohingya refugees who have made a home in Canada.
Yasmine Ullah is a Rohingya refugee living in Vancouver, BC. She is part of a Rohingya women-led initiative, spearheaded by her mother, who are crowfunding on LaunchGood to help support Rohingya community members who are staying in Burma amid the current violence.
Yasmine has been speaking publicly about the plight of the Rohingya, including the dire situation faced by her own family members currently in Burma, at local mosques and to mainstream media such as CBC.
Muslim Canadians are rallying across the country to support the Rohingya in Myanmar/Burma and Rohingya refugees who have fled to Bangladesh.
On September 13th, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau spoke with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, State Counsellor of Myanmar. "The Prime Minister conveyed his deep concerns over the situation in Rakhine State for Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities. He stressed the particular importance of the State Counsellor as a moral and political leader. The Prime Minister also emphasised the urgent need for Myanmar's military and civilian leaders to take a strong stand in ending the violence, promoting the protection of civilians and promoting unimpeded access for the UN and international humanitarian actors. The Prime Minister and the State Counsellor discussed the need to defend and protect the rights of all minorities. The Prime Minister offered Canada’s support to help build a peaceful and stable society in Myanmar that is respectful of the rights of all ethnic minorities. The State Counsellor expressed appreciation for Canada’s contribution to humanitarian efforts."