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Ahtaram Shin

Writer, Researcher, Photographer and Civil Society Activist

 

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Ahtaram is a multifaceted professional with roles spanning research, journalism, education, social work, and project management, primarily aimed at advocacy and capacity building. His advocacy efforts center around the Rohingya community, with a deep focus on human rights and combatting human trafficking.

Born in 1996 in Odaung village, located in Southern Maungdaw, Rakhine state, Ahtaram faced unique challenges as the youngest son in his family due to his father's absence. His father, a theologian and Islamic scholar, left for Saudi Arabia in 1997 and was unable to return to Myanmar until 2014 when his mother successfully reunited with him in Saudi Arabia. His mother, a remarkable woman, worked tirelessly to provide an education for Ahtaram and his siblings despite the obstacles imposed by the Myanmar government during their schooling years.

 

Ahtaram's dedication to education is evident throughout his trajectory. He taught in a government middle school in his village from 2014 to 2017 and continued his educational pursuits post the 2017 Rohingya crisis. After relocating to Bangladesh, he taught at Knowledge Garden Academy. In 2022, he earned a degree in political science through an online undergraduate program at Yangon Cosmopolitan University. He later received a UNHCR scholarship to complete online courses and further enriched his academic credentials with a diploma in Critical Thinking and Analysis Skills at Brac University. His dedication to education led him to work as a peace-building and social cohesion researcher with BRAC University. Currently, he facilitates the Language, Image, and Analytical Thinking program at OSUN Refugee and Host Community-led Research Hub at Brad College in the US, part of the Open Society University Network.

 

An advocate for Rohingya youth empowerment, Ahtaram founded a Rohingya youth club and holds pivotal roles at the Rohingya Community Development Campaign. He oversees editorial content and supports project activities at Rohingyatographer Magazine. He also contributes as a senior cultural researcher, storyteller and organises cultural programs at the Rohingya Cultural Memory Centre, an IOM initiative. 

Ahtaram's poetic prowess is evident in his contributions to the anthology "I am a Rohingya." A prolific writer, his articles are published in renowned platforms like The New Humanitarian, Amnesty International, Dhaka Tribune, The Diplomat, Reuters, and others. He currently has a poetry book awaiting publication.

In Ahtaram's words, “My dedication to social work and peace-building underlines my advocacy for marginalised communities and youth empowerment. My aim is to leverage my voice and skills for a just, equitable society.” 

See below a list of his contributions and published works:

2024

The New Humanitarian. After the latest blaze in their lawless refugee complex, Rohingya ask: Where’s the support?

 

2023

Daily Star. Why the Rohingya seek hope across high seas

Dinkum Journal of Social Innovations (Vol. 2 No. 09). Human Trafficking and the Rohingya Migration: Understanding the experiences of Vulnerable Refugees

The New Humanitarian. Why Cyclone Mocha should end talk of sending Rohingya like me home

Daily Star. Prioritise the Rohingya’s safety and well-being

Dhaka Tribune. Where is our protection?

The National. Tens of thousands of Rohingya protest over ration cuts and forced repatriation claims

Courrier. The wish for peace of Rohingya refugees struggling to revive their lost memory and culture

2022

Amnesty International. Bangladesh: “Engage with us to find a durable solution”

The New Humanitarian. For us Rohingya, fire is just the latest danger. Stop ignoring us

The New Humanitarian. Why we Rohingya want to save our refugee-run schools

PalGrave, Macmillan. Masks of Authoritarianism: Hegemony, Power and Public Life in Bangladesh

2021

Dhaka Tribune. Farewell Comrade Mohibullah

The New Humanitarian. Life at disaster’s edge: What it means to start over – again and again

Dhaka Tribune. The Rohingya and Palestinian crises, compared

2019

ARC Publications. I am Rohingya

Wattpad. Sorrow

ILL AT EASE

I'm a bird in cage

No free from risk

In daytime sun radiant

At night the wind of storm

I get tired in saving my life

Yet I am trash for tomorrow

Just ill at ease!

SMILE

 

Even when I'm stressed or anxious

I never lose my smile

 

The situation around me is terrible

My community is drowning in an ocean of depression

As a leader, I try to encourage them with my smile

 

The power of a smile is immeasurable

The beauty of a smile is as bright as the stars

The sweetness of a smile can bring tranquility 

Even to the heart of a prisoner

The radiance of a smile can spread for miles

 

Smiles show innocence and increase friendship 

They are a powerful weapons for love 

A smile can pause a thousand tears 

It takes away many fears

TREAT ME WITH LOVE

From cradle to the grave

Am I legitimate victim of the genocide? 

Is it my destiny and fault? 

Don't treat me as a toy bird

 

I fled your country 

Not for permanence 

Don't treat me as animal

Probably I disorganized your rules 

But indeed internalize

I'm your backyard like afterglow 

Perhaps you don't know

I am ageless beauty of your surrounding 

 

Planting and gardening around your house 

Only seasonal beauty

Even they bear buds, flower and fruits 

I am inviolate beauty of your surrounding  

 

Treat me with love

I have own dignity and respect 

See my beauty in my body and soul

Treat me kindly because your compassionate voices might make me peace

Speak up words of gentleness and balance acts

I used to remember those conversations 

When I will be my country 

 

I've a land where I was born

That always welcomes me willy-nilly

I am hungry and dying to go back there 

No longer you can find to see my face

My clock, my time is almost going to stick

 

As long as our luck bestows here, 

Show me compassion and kindness 

As your family and neighbour 

As your soulmate and buddy 

As your sibling and offspring

As your nephew and niece

TEACHER'S DAY

Let the environment

Be your teacher

You will learn 

How to adopt by it 

 

Let the creatures

Be your field to study

You will learn 

A different aspect of life

 

Let the ocean

Be your vision

You'll learn 

The feature of diversity

 

Let the stars 

Be your aspirations

You will learn

The beauty of co-occur

 

Let the nature

Be your teacher 

You will learn

The righteous path life!

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