The Blog

The Art Garden Rohingya Interview With the poet Saad @ Zia Hero Naing

January 15, 2020|The Art Garden Rohingya|

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 something about yourself? Your name, age and township you were born in Myanmar?
Zia: “I’m Saad @ Zia Hero Naing. I’m 26 years old. I was born in Taung Pyo Let Wae, Maungdaw Township, Arakan State, Myanmar. During the violence in August, 2017, my home and village were burnt down by Myanmar Tatmadaw. I fled to Bangladesh escaping for my life. Now, I am one of those one million Rohingya refugees surviving in refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, relying on humanitarian aids since then.”

AG: What is your best memory in your childhood in Myanmar?
Zia: “My childhood was amazing in Myanmar. Everyday in the evening, I used to visit with my friends to a rubber garden nearby our village located close to the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh. Sometimes, we used to go there by bikes. The environment is mesmerising in green. The healthy and breezy hillside along. We feel the touch of the natural freshness. We sat together on the green grassy field facing the Naf river and sang the Bollywood songs together in unison. Sometimes, we had discussion about our future and the community. I still miss the place and the moments I spent with my childhood friends together. It’s the best part of my life.”

AG: What is your educational background?
Zia: “In 2010 academic, I passed matriculation at Kyein Chaung High School with the distinction in Biology. In 2012, I finished the second year for Physics at Sittwe University. After the religious violence in June-2012, hundreds of Rohingya students were not allowed to continue their higher education at Sittwe University. I am just one of them.”

AG ​: What inspires you to write poetry? Why do you write it?
Zia: “The traumatic memories in Myanmar and the current dire situation of my community in refugee camps inspire me to write poetry. My creative writing poetries are some of the voices and messages on behalf of Rohingya community and generally the feelings of my people and me as well. I write poetry from the bottom of my heart by the purpose to share my people’s suffering to the whole world.”

AG: Who is your favorite poet or writer? Why do you prefer him or her?
Zia: “I love the Iranian-Kurdish journalist and writer Behrouz Boochani. I have read many of his articles in the Guardian. His work with the tittle ‘No Friend but the Mountains’ about the detainees in the Manus Island Detention Centre in Australia is very horrible to know about the condition of asylum seekers who are held in the prison. Thus, I want to be someone like him.”

AG​: How many poems have you published, so far in the Art Garden Rohingya?
Zia: “So far, 8 of my poems are published in The Art Garden Rohingya, the community Facebook page and website for poetry.”

AG: What is your first published poem? How were you feeling seeing it published?
Zia: “My poem ‘Our Eyes with Tears’ is the first one published in The Art Garden Rohingya. It was published on 30th June, 2019 with the number of serial sn-jun-E37. I felt very happy to see it published on the page. It is a lovely poem for the first time I wrote as a memorial farewell gift dedicated to Kathryn Dale Bryant (Camp Manager & CCCM Specialist of Danish Refugee Council in Bangladesh). She was too much happy seeing a peom for her published in the Art Garden Rohingya.”

AG​: What do you want to be in your future?
Zia: “I want to be a good son for my parents that they can be proud of me, a good husband for my wife while living together as one-life as well as a good father for my children whom I always wish to have the better future and peaceful lives where they can get opportunities for education and enjoy the full freedom that I never enjoy throughout my life. I want my children to be recognized as citizens of the country where they were and would be born. And I want them to serve for community impartially and neutrally.”

AG: Who is your hero?
Zia: “Everyone is a hero in himself or herself. A hero is someone who is the beneficial for anyone’s in need and struggles for peace and fights against the racism. My hero is Saya Aung Myo Zaw (the co-editor at the Art Garden Rohingya) who have been empowering the new generation of our community. I am proud of his belief in literature and culture that potentially Rohingya people can enjoy freedom through. I thank him and his voluntary encouragement to us.”

AG: What message do you want to send for Rohingya new generation?
Zia: “We have been facing difficulties in our lives in many ways. Now, our community relies on new generation. They are strength for people. Currently we are in a very poor situation due to the lack of knowledge or mistakes done by ourselves in the past. But we keep our hope on new generation. The changes of our people lie in them. Our future is in their hands. I want them to be enough potential to fill up all gaps in community in order to make the community civilised. Therefore, my message for new generation is, not to follow the ignoramus but not to ignore the reality and to work hard to create the better future themselves.”

AG: What is your message for your Rohingya community?
Zia: “Now, there are around one million Rohingya refugees surviving in refugee camps, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. We fled here escaping the wave of genocide against us in Arakan. Now, two years already have gone in this squalid refugee camps. Our lives are being exterminated day by day here. All we want is to go back to our homeland with dignity and security for every single life in Myanmar. The right to citizenship of Rohingya community is the most prioritized issue in the crisis. Thus, my message for my community is to grasp the rope of unity to educate their children. Only education can change our lives. Education is the only solution for us.”

AG: Thank you so much for your time and patience doing this interview with us.
Zia: “I also thank the editors team and all poets and readers of the Art Garden Rohingya for giving me this opportunity to share my ideas and making me deserved for this valuable interview. Thank you all again.”

By The Art Garden Rohingya #InterviewWithRohingyaPoet #RohingyaVoice #RohingyaHeartbeat

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