30 Days of Faith: Day 21

· · · For almost six months, this cell in Thailand’s Ayutthaya immigration detention centre has been home to about 20 Rohingya men. They fled communal tensions in Myanmar’s Rakhine state earlier this year, enduring 16 days on a boat with little food and water. By the time they landed on the Thai coast, many were starving, dehydrated and sick. Now they spend their days praying, crying, hoping for a future. “Ramadan is a holy and peaceful month, but last year we couldn’t pray because of the fighting,” lamented Kamal, 22, whose brother was killed in last year’s violence in Sittwe, Myanmar. “Although we are now inside a cell, we have freedom to pray.” Kamal is thankful for the understanding shown by immigration detention centre staff and the local Muslim community, which has been providing food for iftar. For Eid he has one simple wish: “To go to a place where we can move freely, work and survive.”

Photo and text by Vivian Tan for UNHCR

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