The Art Garden Rohingya Interview With the poet Mohammad Erfun Amin
September 19, 2020
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 poets and artists 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?
EA: “I’m Mohammad Erfun Amin @ Aung Myint Tun and twenty-two years old. I was born in Nyaung Chaung Village, Maungdaw Township, Arakan, Myanmar.”
AG: What is your best memory in your childhood in Myanmar?
EA: “After the violence in 2012 in Maungdaw, movement was banned and schools were shut down. Some teachers in our village opened private classes and taught us. I was in class 7, I received the first prize in examination. That was the happiest memory in my life.”
AG: What is your educational background?
EA: “I passed matriculation in 2017 at Maungdaw Township High School. Now, I’m a teacher by profession and writing poetry, learning poetry and other courses through online are my passion.”
AG: What inspires you to write poetry? Why do you write it?
EA: “Becoming a writer is my childhood dream. Now, I live with a simple life as a trilingual poet such as Burmese, Rohingyalish and English, through poetry I want to bring changes through existing circumstance of truth and peace. I’m a very emotional poet and my pen bows down on any paper about the themes of love, nature, misery of refugee life, loneliness of elders or young, the mysterious earth and humanity indeed. I’m very spiritual with nature.”
AG: Who is your favorite poet or writer? Why do you prefer him or her?
EA: “Mawlana Jalal ad-Din Rumi who was an experimental innovator among the Persian poets and he was a Sufi master, and Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal who was undoubtedly one of the greatest poets, philosophers and seers of humanity of all times, and Christina Georgina Rossetti whose imagery of poems capture my heart, and Monica Maartens @ Zaraia Yul who is a greatest poetess nowadays whose poetry tickles my mind and capture my soul.”
AG: How many poems have you published, so far in the Art Garden Rohingya and other outlets?
EA: “I’m an author of the book ‘Miracles Of Nature’ that featured in The Art Garden Rohingya. I’ve published 19 English and 6 Burmese poems.I’ve written hundreds of poems including micro poems. Many of my poems have published in the international anthologies, magazines and journals. I’m the co-author of the two Amazon bestselling anthologies ‘A Spark Of Hopes: A Treasury Of Poems For Saving Lives’ and ‘Break the SILENCE: An Anthology Of Poems Against Domestic Violence’ produced by the literary forum ‘How to Write for Success’.”
AG: What is your first published poem? How were you feeling seeing it published?
EA: “My first published poem is ‘If I Give My Heart To You’ published in The Art Garden Rohingya, about a heart giving promise between two lovers. When I saw it published, I was so jubilant and excited that I can become an author.”
AG: What do you want to be in your future?
EA: “I want to be a prolific author just to show the world that the Rohingya community has educated persons but we aren’t illiterate.”
AG: Who is your hero?
EA: “Some says, my dad is my hero but my eldest brother, Mohammad Ekram Amin (B. Sc, Mathematics and a Mathematics Tutor) is my right hand who has brought me to this stage and be educated like others in the world. My special gratitude is to my beloved brother.”
AG: Can you tell us your personal experience amid this pandemic COVID-19? How does it affect you and your family?
EA: “The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is impacting everyone, some suffer more drastically than others. It has killed thousands of people all over the world and today you and me are still alive so that it’s time for us to measure, for all to secure, to listen to the sound of divinity, to bring peace with all around, to obey the will of God, to covey an earnest word, to learn lesson ourself, pray and thank to God to save and for gift of life. God will heal what you reveal. All my family members are still okay from this virus.”
AG: Is there internet in your area where you currently reside? If not, can you explain how it affects your work?
EA: “Alhamdulliah, the network connection is released here in refugee camp, Cox’s Bazar where I reside now. Now we can communicate each other, publish my work and learn things through online.”
AG: What message do you want to send for Rohingya new generation?
EA: “My message for my Rohingya new generation is; it doesn’t matter how the road looks like, just focus on your destination.”
AG: What is your message for your Rohingya community?
EA: “We have our country, we have our history. So, pen down to maintain our own history and educate your children.”
AG: Thank you so much for your time and patience doing this interview with us.
EA: “I also thank to the editorial team, readers and poets/poetesses of The Art Garden Rohingya for giving me this great opportunity to express my inner feelings and wishes and so grateful to all of you”.
By Editorial Team The Art Garden Rohingya