Tuesday, May 28, 2024
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A poem dedicated to all Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

My Refugee Life

By Ro Anamul Hasan 

Under this tarpauline shelter, 

I dwell like ants in hole

Spending my mundane life 

By hankering for home and homeland 

My dark night never turns into daylight. 

In daytime, I stand at the queue

By holding ration-card for foods 

Sometimes, I’m whipped with sticks 

Sometimes, I’m fallen and crashed 

For these, I forget the day I smiled. 

Having always the same tasteless foods 

I lose my appetite bit by bit

Children murmur with mother

I hardly swallow just to survive

For these, I forget the day I laughed. 

Men are lined up to refill stove-gas 

Women, for soaps and sanitation 

Children, to pour water into vessels 

The queue is as long as my eyes can see

Vessels are many as my mind can count

For these, I forget the day I exulted. 

The night under this shelter lengthens

My head on pillow with open eyes

The memories in mind get recalled 

Soon my cheeks get wet with tears 

Indeed, I forget the nights I slept in peace. 

Where I was and now where I am surviving 

What I did and now what I’m doing 

Who I was and now who I am 

Today, I’ve to look for charity like a beggar

Indeed, I forget the diginity I belonged. 

The actual meaning of refugee life is

Just yearning for homeland every moment

Battle of homesickness, 

Battle of sleeplessness, 

Battle of nostalgia,

Downhearted mood darkens deeper 

The whole world gets darker and darker 

Indeed, I forget the face I had in my own land. 


Ro Anamul Hasan is a Rohingya poet, currently residing in the world’s largest refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.

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