The Rohingya Are Our Friends

I just had an eye-opening experience with my Rohingya neighbors today. As I sat with my kind, gentle, hard-working new friend, I heard her story. She is now studying to become a citizen of the US and she works at a meat processing plant. She is extremely happy for the work, but it is very cold and after a few winters here, she knows how to manage it. She broke down after telling me she was not able to be with her father who died in Myanmar not too long ago. She is grateful to the Malaysian government that took her in initially, but happy to find a permanent home in America. Here, she can become a citizen - a home, a place of belonging. She hasn’t seen her mother in more than 18 years. She remembers the wonderful memories of when all religions got along in Myanmar. She remembers her family. But now, as a refugee, her family is strewn across the globe, hoping to find acceptance and even hopefully, kindness. Our children play together and do homework. We learn from each other as we share recipes in the community garden. For more about the plight of the Rohingya, read this New York Times article.

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