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Author and artist: Sami Ahmed
Shortwave, 31-meter band 9310 kHz
25-meter band 11570 kHz, 12030 kHz
Report: Mohammed Idris Abdullah (stringer)
Topic: An imam talks about his work and life in Balukhali Camp 1.
Translation summary: Moolana Motiur Rahman, 66, has taught religious education at madrassas for decades. The imam comes from Jam-Boinnna village in Myanmar’s Maungdaw township, where he taught students from grades two to eight at Boro and Miajam Puru madrassas. He also educated students in grades two to 12 at Saidulla-Sor madrassa.
Rahman fled violence in Bangladesh in August 2017 and now lives with eight relatives in Balukhali.
The imam said he is one of 14 teachers at a madrassa with more than 200 students. Along with religious education, the madrassa offers classes in Burmese, English, Bangla and Urdu. The school doesn’t have as many books and teaching materials as Rahman would like, but there isn’t much money to provide more. The teachers don’t get funding from organizations, collecting just enough donations from students’ families to get monthly salaries. For Rahman, it’s 3,000 takas or $35. The money helps support Rahman’s family. His eldest son is in 10th grade at a private camp school and three other sons study at a madrassa. His two daughters are at home.
Rahman said his school’s main goal is to educate Rohingya students about Allah and discourage bad deeds.
He’s encouraged by humanitarian aid given to the Rohingyas by governments and NGOs.
He looks to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) – the United Nations’ top court – to help resolve the Rohingya crisis and repatriate his people to Myanmar.
Web extra: The ICJ will announce its decision Jan. 23 on a request for emergency measures in a genocide case against Myanmar, the Gambian Ministry of Justice said earlier this week. The Gambia had filed the lawsuit against Myanmar on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation. It accused Myanmar’s government of violating the Genocide Convention in purging minority Rohingya Muslims from the predominantly Buddhist country.
2-way report: Mohammed Rukon Uddin (stringer)
Topic: More from displaced Rohingyas about the difficulty of getting jobs in Bangladesh camps. The host country provided safe haven to roughly 1 million Rohingya refugees, but discourages long-term settlement by banning access to paying jobs. Three men interviewed by VOA asked not to be identified by their real names, fearing increased risk to work options.
Translation summary: Mohammad has lived with his family in Kutupalong Camp 3 since fleeing Rakhine state in August 2017. He has found construction work with the Cox’s Bazar-based NGO Mukti, doing construction five days a week for 350 takas ($4.13) a day. Food rations distributed to Rohingyas don’t go far enough, he said, so earnings from a day job enable his family to live better.
“The job is not permanent. It is a project-based job” involving road construction, Mohammed said. “I don’t know whether I will be hired for the next project or not.”
A colleague on the project added, “If we can’t have a job here how can we survive?”
Sirajul has worked on NGO construction projects and is looking for a new opportunity. “I used to