The Blog

Interview With the poet Abdu Rahman, author of “Rohingya Odyssey”

The Art Garden Rohingya is the first Rohingya community poetry and art platform. We publish poetry and other forms of artworks in print, online website and social media and hence, encouraging Rohingya writers and artists as well as promoting our Rohingya literature, culture, tradition and art.. We, therefore conduct some interviews with our poet and artist in order to learn how he or she believes in literature and creating artwork.
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 please tell us something about yourself? Your name, age and township you were born in Myanmar?
AR : I’m Abdu Rahman and 23-year old. I was born in Nyaung Chaung Village, Maungdaw Township, Arakan state, Myanmar.
AG : What is your best memory in your childhood in Myanmar?
AR : When I was in class 7, there was an art competition  held in our school. I participated in competition and won the first prize. Many of our villagers including my father attended the award ceremony and watched me receiving the award. I saw the tears of happiness in my father’s eyes. It’s the best childhood memory that I could never forget.”
AG : What is your educational background?
AR : “I was studying my high school in Maungdaw in 2017. Due to the genocide carried out by the Myanmar military, I was forced to flee to Bangladesh together with the villagers. In the refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar, I have completed some online courses on politics and others. Recently, I received scholarship from University of the People in Health Science. Besides that, writing poetry and learning poetry is my passion.”
AG : What inspires you to write poetry? Why do you write it?
AR : The miserable situations of my people and the living conditions in the camps reinforced me to write. Seeing vulnerable individuals and victims of genocide and the circumstances constrained me pick up the pen compassionately. I write about peace and harmony. My poetry is based on the stories of the refugee life, struggle, love and nature.”
AG : Are there any specific poets or writers whom you admire and draw inspiration from?
AR : “My favorite poet is Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal who was officially recognized as a national poet of Pakistan. His poetic verses inspired me a lot as others.”
AG : How many poems have you published, so far in the Art Garden Rohingya and other outlets?
AR : “I’ve published 12 poems in English and 1 poem in Burmese. I’ve written more than hundred poems. And more than 40 of my poems have published in the international anthologies, magazines and websites. Recently, I have authored a book titled  “Rohingya Odyssey” which includes 90 poems. Soon, it will be available on Amazon.”
AG: Can you tell us about a poem or creative piece that you are particularly proud of?
AR : “Here is a stanza of my poem published in the Art Garden Rohingya”
A Victim Of Genocide
I’m deprived from education, healthcare, freedom of movement and worship.
I’m excluded from – the rights to citizenship. politics,and elections.
I am expelled from constitution and homeland
My property has been looted
My home has been burnt
My mother and sisters have been raped
My father and brothers have been killed or murdered
Yet I have to fight the real battle with the lies of human solidarity with the norm of worldly constitutions.
For what I lost in Myanmar 
To preserve justice_ one of the longest terms to proceed in human history” 
AG : What is your first published poem? How were you feeling seeing it published?
AR : “My first published poem is ” Being Rohingya, I’m a parentlees offspring” published in the Art Garden Rohingya, which I dedicated to my beloved parents. When I saw it published, I was so excited and pleased that I can continue my journey to become a passionate writer.”
AG : What do you want to be in your future?
AR : “I want to be a creative writer or an astute poet to show the gloomy world that the Rohingya people also have talent and creativity of literacy. Only opportunity matters for us.”
AG : Who is your ideal person?
AR : “My father is my ideal person. He was an educated person, imam and religious scholar. He directed me to the right way. He is a reason that I’m who I am today. My special gratitude goes to him.”
AG: Can you share your personal experience during the 2016-17 Exodus and how it affected you and your family?
AR: “I personally experienced destruction and terrible situation in our village. My mother was the star of my eyes, left us in 2014. Due to the genocide in 2017, I was separated from my father and stepmother. I carried my 6-year-old brother on my back along with my grandparents to Bangladesh. It was escaping from death and living for a second life.”
AG : What message do you want to send for your generation?
AR : “Always be enthusiastic and make in progress what you learn and be an optimistic as the future depends on how you want it to be.”
AG: What is your message for your Rohingya community?
AR : “Don’t forgot where we belong to and keep fighting against injustice. Educate your children and let them know the history. To create changes and bring peace and harmony for Rohingya community.”
AG: According to you, how much the art and literature are important for a community? How would you revive and maintain Rohingya art and culture?
AR : “According to me, the art and literature is the backbone of a community. Both play the crucial roles in our lives and culture. We have to maintain our art and culture with whatever we can in a collective way by encouraging the rising artists and poets.”
AG: Thank you so much for your time and patience doing this interview with us.
AR : “My sincere thanks to the editorial team of the Art Garden Rohingya. I offer my thanks to all fellow poets and readers. I’m very grateful to get this great opportunity to express my inner feelings through this valuable interview.”
Editorial Team

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