Mental Health: Rohingya Trauma and Resilience - Jamil Story
26-year-old Rohingya refugee Jamil Ahmed fled his home in Myanmar four days after Eid, in September 2017. He ran away, like the rest of the villagers, after seeing the fires lit by the Myanmar military advancing. They ran into the forest and hid. The military saw them escape to the forest and opened fire. Many of the villagers were struck by the bullets and died. A bullet struck Jamil in the hand, which has left him disabled. When the villagers felt it was safe enough to move, they began the trek towards Bangladesh. Crossing into Bangladesh they left behind the violence and oppression they faced in Myanmar, but the memories still haunt thousands of the refugees. “I often wonder when I will be able to return to Myanmar. I do not feel peaceful when it think about it. If Allah wishes us to go back we will; if not, we will stay here.” Like many of the Rohingya refugees, Jamil expresses his mental health issues by describing physical symptoms. “When I am not peaceful I feel like I’m getting thinner. When I came here I lost weight and I lost my energy.” He desperately misses his home but knows what would happen if he returned: “I do not feel peaceful when I think of going back home. When I think of my home, I feel like flying there. But if I go there it will be killing myself. In my heart, I still have love for my land. One day I will definitely go back.”