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  • Writer's pictureAhtaram Shin

Rohingya Excellence: An 11-year-old's talent transcends refugee life

Updated: Apr 9


Young graduate Hf Muhammed Ekram. 2023 © Rezaul Islam

This is the portrait of Hf Muhammed Ekram, an 11 years old son of Mv Muhammed Rofique who lives in the world's largest Rohingya Refugee camp in Bangladesh. By the mercy of Allah, he has accomplished his graduation by memorising the complete Holy Quran in just one year.


Photographer Rezaul Islam took this photo to show the world that despite living in in a refugee camp, Rohingya have talent. Memorizing the holy Quran in a year is not and easy task for an eleven-year-old boy. Rezaul hopes that his picture will motivate other parents to look at what talents their children have and support their education.

"I feel proud of myself being a Rohingya photographer and getting a chance to write something about this talented boy," said Rezaul Islam. Parents have the responsibility to give the education to their sons and daughters." – Rezaul said.

Watch the video below by Rezaul Islam, where he talks about his photograph of talented boy Hf Muhammed Ekram.




Rezaul Islam, born in 2003 in Zee Bien Chaung village, Arakan, is a young Rohingya blogger and photographer. His family's forced migration to Bangladesh in the wake of violence in Myanmar interrupted his formal education, yet he persevered in his learning. In the refugee camps, Rezaul pursued a six-month computer science course and completed four additional courses in Microsoft and Photoshop.


Rezaul Islam's professional path led him to work with IOM as a field monitor. Encouraged by his father, he has developed a deep passion for poetry and photography, utilising these art forms to represent and advocate for his community. He is currently part of the co UN Women Bangladesh. His photography aims to showcase the cultural richness and current plight of the Rohingya people to the world.


 

In addition to still photography, Rezaul Islam is an active lifestyle blogger, documenting daily life in the Rohingya camps. He shares these insights through social media, capturing various aspects of Rohingya life through his lens and narrative videos.

 

In 2023, his photographic work was published in F-Stop Magazine along other Rohingyatographer members. He firmly believes in the power of photography as a tool for change and advocacy.


"We must use photography to challenge our crisis and hope better for our community. I believe that photography can have a positive impact towards changing our lives." – Rezaul said.

 

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

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