This throwback episode of IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” podcast is full of raw stories from Myanmar’s border. Our host B.C. Dodge talks with Imam Khalid Latif and IRUSA’s Ridwan Adhami about a trip that they recently returned from to document the crisis and IRUSA’s response.
IRUSA’s Ridwan Adhami was overheated and exhausted. He had just walked 30 or 40 minutes in 104 degree heat with 98 percent humidity, carrying heavy gear to document the crisis at a refugee camp at Myanmar’s border. He was wiping the sweat off his head when he felt a hand on his shoulder. It was a refugee—comforting him.
“I turned around and it was a little old lady,” he said. “She kept patting me on my shoulder as if to say ‘I got you, it’s OK, it’ll be all right.’ … In all she’s been through in a refugee camp in that heat, she was there for me.”
They met a lot of people there who wanted to tell their nightmarish stories, like the 78-year-old woman who saw her husband and two sons killed in front of her eyes.
“They were willing to share their stories because they were just wondering how it’s possible that this is what they’re going through and nobody is really doing anything to intervene,” Khalid Latif says. “We didn’t meet one person who couldn’t tell us that they haven’t literally seen loved ones burned alive in front of their eyes.”
The enormity of the crisis—and the responsibility—weighed on both of the men.
“When genocide takes place, it’s not just the perpetrators that are killing people, but it’s really the world that is killing those people,” Khalid says.
But he found hope in the people taking action to help.
“One of the things that I recognized … was how amazing the work is that Islamic Relief does,” Khalid says. “And you see on the ground people who are so appreciative of it. Because literally if these relief groups were not there — if Islamic Relief was not there — these people would not live.
“Don’t underestimate the ability you have to be part of the solution.
Tune in to hear more stories and to find out how to help.
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“What a Relief!” is the official podcast of Islamic Relief USA. Hosted by social media specialist B.C. Dodge, IRUSA’s “What a Relief!” puts a human face on what’s going on in the world and how you can enact positive change in it. New episodes every week!