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  • Writer's pictureAhtaram Shin

Rain's blessing: A joyful playground from above

2023 © Minara

Once, as Minara was returning from work, it was raining, and many children were getting wet and playing in the rain. Among them was a beautifully dressed young girl. In the rain, she stood alone by a tree, lost in thought, her gaze distant as if lost in contemplation. She seemed to find a quiet sanctuary in this moment of solitude.


For Rohingya people, rain is usually seen as good. It cools things down and makes plants grow. But climate change is making things different. Rain isn't predictable anymore. Sometimes it's just a light drizzle, other times it pours like a storm.


In this picture, the girl's thoughtful pose shows how strong she is despite the changing weather. She stays calm while everything around her is uncertain. The photo captures both the beauty of nature and the tough challenges her community faces.


About the phototographer: Minara, is a 30-year-old from Buthi Daung in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, now lives with her family in the world’s largest refugee camp, in Bangladesh. In Myanmar, she was employed by UNHCR, and since relocating to Bangladesh, she has worked with various organizations such as CSI, Brac University’s CPJ project, IOM, and SAFE over the past five years. Currently, she collaborates with UN Women and runs her own communicaty-based organization: Education and Wisdom Development for Rohingya Women (EWDRW).


Photography has become a significant part of Minara's life, allowing her to convey the emotions and experiences of her community to the world. Trained in storytelling by the World Food Programme (WFP) in 2019, Minara believes her photos serve as a narrative medium for change.


"Each image captures a fragment of life in the camp, telling a story I wish to share," she explains.

Through her lens, Minara aims to shed light on the lives of her people, using her photographs as a powerful storytelling tool to inspire positive change and raise awareness about the challenges faced by her community. Minara's work has gained international recognition, with some of her photographs featured in the UNHCR 2023 calendar and exhibited in Sweden and Japan.


"Seeing my work displayed on such platforms fills me with a sense of accomplishment," she notes with pride.

 

This feature is part of The Rohingya Experience, an exhibition in St Helier, Island of Jersey during July 2024, developed by Rohingyatographer, a collective of Rohingya refugee photographers in partnership with Jersey Overseas Aid.

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