The Art Garden Rohingya Interview With the poet Ro Mehrooz
October 10, 2019
The Art Garden Rohingya is the Rohingya community arts website. We foster the passion and talent of those young Rohingya poets and artists who strive to revive Rohingya arts and culture. We, therefore conduct some interviews with our poet and artist in order to learn how he or she chose literature and started writing poetry. The opinions and views in the following interview are solely those of the poet and artist and do not necessarily reflect the Art Garden Rohingya.
AG: Can you tell us about yourself? Your name, age and township you were born in Myanmar?
RM: “I’m Ro Mehrooz and 20 years old. I was born in Buthidaung of Rakhine (previously known as Arakan) state in Myanmar.”
AG: What is your best memory in your childhood in Myanmar?
RM: “When I was going to sit for final exam of matriculation in 2015, I saw the guardians of every examinees from different communities were waiting together outside at the gate of campus. The parents were there to encourage their children for exam. For a moment, it was like a garden with different colors of flowers. So, for me it’s the best memory in Myanmar.”
AG: What is your educational background? RM: “I passed my matriculation in 2015 in Buthidaung. Now, I’m self-learning computer programming and poetry through online sources.”
AG: What inspires you to write poetry? Why do you write it?
RM: “Well, while I was crossing the Naf River in 2016 fleeing to Bangladesh escaping the persecution of Myanmar’s government inside Myanmar, the rowing boat where I was on was heading toward the coast of Bengal. Suddenly my heart was pushing me to look back at my motherland. As much as I dipped the oars into the water, my heart yearned for my birthplace where my childhood memories lie in. On the other hand, the mass exodus of my Rohingya community during August, 2017 and continuous human rights violations of Burmese Military (Tatmadaw) against my people enforced me to speak out through the pen and I started to write poems.”
AG: Who is your favorite poet or writer? Why do you prefer him or her?
RM: “Shin Maha Rattasara is my favorite poet. When I was at school in Myanmar, I enjoyed reading Shin Maha Ratthasara, known for his Pyo (Pyo is a type of poetry which weaves in metaphors, similes, and allusions) poetry. Since then I fall in love with poetries. Soon, I’ve studied Jafar Kawal, a prominent spoken Rohingya revolutionary poet. I’ve also read other poets such as Allama Iqbal , Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Mirza Ghalib, etc.”
AG: How many poems have you published, so far in the Art Garden Rohingya?
RM: I’ve published 11 poems in the Art Garden Rohingya and many others are under composition now.”
AG: What is your first published poem? How were you feeling seeing it published?
RM: “My first published poem is ‘Mercy/‘ and it was quiet a moment of joy and tears seeing it’s published in the Art Garden Rohingya as it’s the first and one and only writing platform for Rohingyas to share our own art and talent.”
AG: What do you want to be in your future?
RM: “I want to be a symbol of recognition for Rohingya community with positive sight and inspiration for new generation.”
AG: Who is your hero?
RM: “Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is my hero in my life.”
AG: What message do you want to send for Rohingya new generation?
RM: “My message for Rohingya new generation is, ‘Be a proof of civilized Rohingya and always walk with the right, the right will be with you’.”
AG: What is your message for your Rohingya community?
RM: “Educate your children and don’t recur the history again’.”
Thank you so much for your time, the poet Ro Mehrooz.
The Art Garden Rohingya
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