Author and artist: Sami Ahmed
● Myanmar prepares to welcome Chinese President Xi
● International Red Cross urged to work with Myanmar for Rohingya repatriation
● Eleven U.S. troops injured in Jan. 8 Iranian missile attack in Iraq
● New U.S.-China trade deal staves off tech tariffs
● India to invite Pakistani PM for Shanghai Council meeting
Shortwave, 31-meter band 9310 kHz
25-meter band 11570 kHz, 12030 kHz
Report: Mohammed Idris Abdullah (stringer)
Topic: A Kutupalong resident frets about his own and his mother’s health.
Translation summary: Hamaid Hussain was a farmer when he lived in Shil Kahli village of Myanmar’s Maungdaw township. But, since fleeing to Bangladesh with nine relatives after August 2017, he has been unable to work. He and his family live in Kutupalong Camp 2.
Resting at home, Hussain told VOA that he has suffered a paralyzing ailment for more than two years. He has sought treatment at the nonprofit Gonoshasthaya Kendra health center, but the prescribed medicines offered no relief, he said. He went twice last week to one of the camp health facilities run by the International Organization for Migration, a UN agency. Hussain said he was given ointment and other medicine, but he’s still not comfortable.
Hussain said his 65-year-old mother also requires medical care for several ailments, including diabetes. Her medicines cost about 2,000 takas ($23.59) a month, he said, explaining that relatives help to cover the cost through day labor for nonprofit groups. But he said his mother’s health is declining.
The UN Refugee Agency reports that Camp 4 has seven health facilities for the camp’s nearly 8,000 households. Hussain doesn’t think that’s enough. He complained that people with chronic conditions like his or his mother’s might wait all day at a facility, unsuccessfully, while medical personnel tend to emergency patients. He hopes that the needs of chronically ill people will get more attention.
2-way report: Mohammed Rukon Uddin (stringer) with hosts
Author & artist: Mohammed Rukon Uddin
Topic: Two Rohingyas sheltering in camps in southeastern Bangladesh try to hold on to the winter celebration of fira, traditionally enjoyed with plenty of cake.
Summary: Rohingyas have fond memories of fira, a winter festival for food lovers.
“It used to be a happy moment for us to have different types of cake,” said Sayod Husson, summoning memories from his childhood in Nashadong village in Myanmar’s Maundaw township. Now 55, he has lived in Balukhali Camp 1 since late 2017.
He misses a sticky rice cake served with beef, or bini firá. “Here in the camp, our children always ask for those cakes ... traditional in the winter season. How can I provide them when I don't have enough to survive?”
In Kutupalong Camp 2, resident Sayed Nur remembers a range of festivals.
“In winter season in every house, people make various cakes and distribute them to one another. They cook beef and chicken along with those cakes and invite relatives,” said Nur, also 55. Festivals also marked the planting season and rice harvest. “We used to invite elderly people and also distribute to the nearest families and relatives. It was a great fun in our hometown” of Kumachiprong, in Maungdaw township.
Those occasions are harder to observe now. “We can't even invite any guests to our shelter, as it is too small,” Nur said.
But in the camps, this VOA journalist has seen street vendors making and selling different cakes, reminding Rohingyas of their traditions.