Message to the world from Noor Kajol, a Rohingya

“I would like the world to help us get our own country back or offer us another country that we could live in.”

Noor Kajol Rohingya portrait
Noor, 10 [Katie Arnold/Al Jazeera]

Noor Kajol, 10, comes from Rakhine State, Myanmar, which she fled in recent weeks.

My name is Noor Kajol, and I am 10 years old. I was very happy in my old village because I was studying at the madrassa – I liked learning about the holy Quran, and I wanted to memorise all of it. I lived with my family; there were seven of us in total. The house was not very big, but I liked living there. 

We had to flee our homes because the military started shooting us. I was inside the house with my father when they shot him through the window.

The bullet hit him in the head, he fell on the floor, and a lot of blood was coming out of his head.

I was really scared, and I was crying a lot. We ran away, leaving my father in the house. The military burned the house down, even though my father was still inside. 

We had to run away to the forest and hide in the trees. We then walked for three days to get to Bangladesh. It was difficult for me because I was hungry and I missed my father a lot. 

Other people helped us cross the border for free, which was very nice of them. We travelled in a boat with an engine, but I did not enjoy the boat ride because I still missed my father. He was a woodcutter, and everyone liked him. He was a good-natured man, and he loved me a lot. 

I am very unhappy in Bangladesh because I miss my father so much. It is also very dirty here; there are no toilets or bathrooms. 

I would like the world to help us get our own country back or offer us another country that we could live in. 

*As told to Katie Arnold in Kutupalong new shelter camp near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

*This interview has been edited for clarity.

The plight of Myanmar’s Rohingya

Nearly 400,000 Rohingya, mainly women and children, have fled to Bangladesh in the recent weeks as a result of indiscriminate violence against civilian populations carried out by the Myanmar army.

The UN and other human rights organisations have warned that the mass exodus following killings, rapes, and burned villages are signs of “ethnic cleansing”, pleading for the international community to pressure Aung San Suu Kyi and her government to end the violence.

“The situation seems a textbook example of ethnic cleansing,” UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein said on Monday, September 11.

INTERACTIVE: Refugee settlements near Cox's Bazar Bangladesh and more maps [Al Jazeera]
INTERACTIVE: Refugee settlements near Cox’s Bazar Bangladesh and more maps [Al Jazeera]

Read more to find out who Myanmar’s Rohingya are

Source: Al Jazeera