Thankful Rohingyas spend Eid in camps

Escaping the brutal crackdown by Burmese military, Rasheda Begum from Kiranchharhi in Myanmar’s Rakhine State walked for days to cross the border into Ukhyia in Bangladesh on Aug 31 last year, and the Eid-ul-Azha fell on Sept 2.

With bodies of her loved ones left at her burnt-down home, the Rohingya Muslim woman’s mind was filled with worries for food and shelter.

“This is the greatest Eid for us today that we have survived (the army atrocities),” Rasheda, in her 50s, had told bdnews24.com on the Eid day last year.

Around a year has passed since the Myanmar army launched the crackdown that has pushed the number of refugees in Bangladesh by nearly 700,000.

Another Eid came to the Rohingya lives amid uncertainty at the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday.

The authorities have collected around 3,000 cattle heads for the refugees to slaughter and share the meat on Eid.

Salim Uddin, one of the Rohingyas who received the meat at Tanzimar Ghona Camp at Balukhali, expressed gratitude to the people of Bangladesh.

“May Allah bless the government and the people of Bangladesh for arranging the meat for the Rohingyas,” he said.

Photo: Reuters Photo: Reuters The Bangladesh authorities and the international agencies have built shanties to house the refugees in swathes of the southeastern district.
Food and health care services have also been arranged as the talks on repatriating the Rohingyas are under way.

The clouds over their future have not cleared, but the support has given the Rohingyas the courage to go on and celebrate the Eid abroad, though they are unsure whether they can celebrate the festival back home anymore.

“Different efforts have brought some comfort to the Rohingyas. Their faces don’t reflect the panic and void as they did a year ago,” Kutupalong Rohingya Refugee Camp In-Charge Rezaul Karim told

The authorities collected 3,200 cows to slaughter for the Rohingyas on the Eid from donor agencies, NGOs, and individuals, according to Cox’s Bazar Deputy Commissioner Md Kamal Hossain.
Of the collected cattle, 3,000 are for the Rohingyas and 200 for the locals. On the Eid day, 2,670 were slaughtered, Ukhiya Upazila Executive Officer or UNO Nikaruzzaman Chowdhury said.

They would slaughter the rest of the cattle on Thursday and Friday, and were also trying to collect more cattle.

Surat Alam, the head of the refugees at the Lombashia Camp in Kutupalong, also thanked the Bangladesh government for the meat.

“We are like guests. I pray to God for the Muslims in Bangladesh,” he said.

Abdus Salam at D-5 Camp in Kutupalong said the Eid day was good at the refugee camp.

Nurul Islam of D-4 recalled the persecution in Myanmar.

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“We could not even pray together at mosque in Burma. Now we have offered Eid prayers together by the grace of Allah. So everyone is happy,” he said.