The Rohingyas Celebrate Eid Alone in “Isolated Island”

Some of the Rohingyas in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh were relocated to Bhasan Char, a small island 63 kilometers from the nearest mainland. This Eid ul-Fitr was like isolation for them because they had to be separated from their relatives in Cox's Bazar.

Rohingya Eid Celebration
Illustration. Rohingya Eid Celebration on Bhasan Char Island. (Doc. BBC)

ACTNews, DHAKA – Rub salt into the wound. This proverb describes the condition of many Rohingyas in Bangladesh. They have felt the difficulty of life in the refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar, making them mutually reinforcing. However, their friendship was forced to separate after most of the refugees in Cox's Bazar were relocated to Bhasan Char.

Bhasan Char is a small island about 63 kilometers from the mainland and is in the Dhaka region of Bangladesh. As reported by the Arabnews page, Rohingya refugees at Bhasan Char island observed their first Eid ul-Fitr on Thursday, May 13, in an “isolated state” far away from their relatives.

“We are observing a different kind of Eid this year, far away from friends and relatives. Usually, we get together with relatives on Eid days. On this special occasion, I am not seeing any friends and relatives around me, sometimes, I feel isolated,” said Rohingya refugee, Abdur Rahman, Saturday (5/15/2021).

Another refugee, Morium Begum (29) said her children were missing the Eid festivities in Cox’s Bazar. “My children used to visit their friends’ houses and Eid fairs on these days at Cox’s Bazar but here they don’t have any friends,” said Begum.

Bangladesh began the relocation of refugees, 18,000 to date, to Bhasan Char, some 63 km from the mainland, at the end of last year, explaining that it would ease pressure on the congested camps at Cox’s Bazar.

Although some Rohingyas have been relocated, the situation of Rohingya refugees in refugee camps in Bangladesh is still far from prosperous. Based on data compiled by ACT's Global Humanity Response (GHR), there are still many humanitarian problems that surround them.

"One of them is food insecurity, there are hundreds of thousands of cases of emergency food insecurity that befell Rohingya refugees there. This is one of the reasons why many children are small and thin," said Firdaus Guritno from ACT's Global Humanity Response team.

Firdaus also invites the community to give their best assistance to Rohingya fellow Muslims in Bangladesh, so that the various problems that shackled their lives could at least be reduced. "Your assistance is very important because currently, they can only rely on humanitarian assistance for their daily lives," explained Firdaus. []