Struggles We Couldn’t Compare

Learning about Muslims worldwide

I never ask Raffiq (the geologist) about Aleppo or Rohingya like how I would ask my late grandfather about his world war experience – over and over again just to entertain him, not because I wanted to know the story and why would I? Because I breathe through the memory of his younger days when he already confused whether or not had he eat lunch while swapping names of his children.

Raffiq was probably busy and annoyed with me asking stuff, seeing me browsing through websites and news that evening, he was struggling with wells and model. But war, either in my grandfather’s memory, Aleppo, Rohingya, between two conflicting people or even the war in our head. It’s never pleasant.

The next day, they brought me to the talk at Tower 1 and I learn more about Rohingya people.

Someone I know from Myanmar

I had a senior geophysicist who came from Myammar, worked with him for two years. It was my first project and actually still is, until next year. I’ll be relocated where I’d probably meet different senior from this triangle aiming for a Buddhist territory, Myanmar-Thailand-Laos. (Oh I’ll still be in KLCC don’t worry.

Mr. Win is a nice person. We share the love to connect to our spirituality and often had deep conversation about life and the after life while having our coffee in the evening, munching peanuts that he would always bring for all of us, when we were run out of them. Now we don’t have peanuts supplier anymore.

Mr. Win did email me some life updates after he returned to Myanmar post-April this year telling me that his name would be changed to Ashin Yawada if his family approve his intention to stay in the sanctuary.

I don’t think he’s a part of 969 movement who fear Rohingya people taking over Myanmar from the Buddhist just like how they think it was in Malaysia and Indonesia. Tanah Melayu in fact, was dominated by the Hindu before Islam.

969 is labeled as extremists by their own people but they get support from the military. Though if you’ve wikipedia-ed it, several of different things are contradicting and I don’t know what to believe anymore. It’s just that, not anyone under conscious and opened eyes would do the same things to Rohingya and Arakan no matter what religion they are.

The point is, I don’t think and I don’t want to believe that Mr. Win who taught me Geophysics fundamentals, the one who genuinely cares about me, about A & H, is a part of this. I don’t think so.

The kind of struggle

I couldn’t imagine myself with A & H living in camps, not allowed to move around freely, because I love to go to places, I want to discover new things. Neither would I imagine myself in a crowded tank trying to escape through wide open sea. Being exploited. Getting very bad eczema flares until the blood from my ears flow to my toe that already numb to feel anything due to never stretching out. There’s no space. And so, is this religion issue anymore?

I’m glad that here, those who care, have a little more discretion on how to discuss the account of Rohingya, we are 1Malaysia. We are already metamorphosed into harmony. All of us understand, this is our humanity talking.

I thought I’ve known how it is to be scared, to live in the greatness of uncertainty and not knowing what to do. While their fear is probably 10 times amplified, I couldn’t compare with. I realise now, that, all my complaints of not having enough time and space to make choices are plain ridiculous compare to the fate of Rohingya.

And Aleppo. And probably all the struggles of people I never know of.

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