The UN Refugee Agency’s (UNHCR’s) Goodwill Ambassador Tahsan Khan returned to Cox’s Bazar, where he met with young Rohingya refugees and Bangladeshis to learn about their needs, hopes and dreams, to mark World Refugee Day.
During a meeting with young Rohingya artists, including painters, musicians and photographers, the refugees expressed how using art and music has been their only way to heal from the trauma they experienced when violence and persecution uprooted them from their homes.
“I want to thank you for reminding me that as artists we don’t only create music or arts for entertainment. We also create art to heal from our own trauma or the trauma of our people. It is a very strong message, I am taking this with me”, said Tahsan Khan.
Next to the Camp in Charge Mr. Mahfuzur Rahman, and UNHCR’s Head of Cox’s Bazar Office Ita Shuette, Tahsan Khan judged a talent contest, where Rohingya refugees sang traditional folksongs remembering their home-country and helping them keep their cultural heritage alive.
“When I met with refugees, they expressed their desire to return home soon but also the fear they still feel of doing so without their basic rights and safety being ensured. It is such a strong feeling that it inspired a song by a young Rohingya, who desperately expressed his hopes of going back home and leaving behind the refugee life”, said Tahsan Khan
UNHCR’s Goodwill Ambassador also met with over 100 Bangladeshi students from Ukhiya college, who expressed their concerns and hopes, and who finished by singing the popular Alo Alo song, together with him.
“You, the people of Ukhiya, showed the world what humanity is. You feel the pain of others, and that is what makes us human,” recognized Tahsan Khan.
As one in every 100 displaced persons in the world is a Rohingya refugee living in Bangladesh, Tahsan Khan underlined the importance of global solidarity and confirmed his support to Bangladesh and the Rohingya refugees to continue calling for international support to find solutions for these communities and a safe and dignified return for the Rohingya refugees.
“We should all think and do our part so that this crisis gets easier to solve. We should join in harmony, so that we all can live together peacefully till the Rohingya refugees are peacefully repatriated” expressed Tahsan Khan.
The Goodwill Ambassador also expressed his concern for the people of Sylhet and appreciated the donation of 3 million Aquatabs from UNHCR, that will help cover safe drinking water needs of thousands of people affected by the emergency