From your award winning charity
17 May 2019

Rohingya Refugee Story: Life as a Child Refugee

Safa Faruqui
Rohingya Refugee Story: Life as a Child Refugee

My name is Shaha Nur and I am 7 years old.

When I was a very little girl, only 5 years old, I used to live in Myanmar, in a beautiful village called Kuinapara. It’s a very green place, full of fields and trees, and my family used to grow vegetables there. We also owned lots of animals like goats and cows.

Even though our village was so beautiful, it was also quite a scary place. Soldiers would come and kill people in our village, even though they had done nothing wrong. They even killed my grandfather. So slowly, the village became less and less beautiful and more and more scary. I wasn’t even allowed to go to school anymore, because it was too dangerous to leave the house.

Then, one day, my mum and dad decided it was too dangerous to stay in Myanmar anymore. They told us that we were going to get on a boat and leave our home behind – the whole family, me and my older brother and my five sisters and even my baby brother Nasrallah. 

For seven whole days we travelled in the boat. It was the longest journey of my life. Even though our village had been scary, nothing was as frightening as that boat journey. Everywhere I looked, I could see houses burnt down. People just like me were being killed in their homes. It felt like we would never be safe again.

At last, our boat touched land. We came up onto the shore and looked around. We had arrived in Bangladesh.

I have been living in Bangladesh for almost two years now, in a place called Cox’s Bazar. Cox’s Bazar is a refugee camp. I’ve never lived in a refugee camp before. There are so many people here – sometimes it feels like we’re all living on top of each other!

But everyone in Bangladesh is so kind and friendly. I feel so lucky and grateful that the people of Bangladesh helped us when we had nowhere else to go.

I’m 7 years old now – so I have a very busy life! I have to help my mum with chores every day, play with all my friends, and go to school! It all feels so different to life in Myanmar – no matter how many problems we face, at least we know that we’re safe, and we’re together, and no one is coming to hurt our family.

I have a lot of memories, good and bad, but I also think about the future too. And I think I want to be a doctor in the future, so I can help all the people of my country who are hurting.


This Ramadan, Muslim Hands is reaching thousands of refugee children like Shaha Nur with vital aid, including food parcels, shelter, medical care and counselling. Donate now to help us continue this life-changing work.

Muslim Hands UK

Established in 1993, Muslim Hands is an aid agency and NGO helping those affected by poverty, conflict and natural disaster in over 20 countries worldwide.