In August 2017, in just over a month’s time, over half a million Muslim Rohingya fled Myanmar’s (Burma’s) western Rakhine State to neighboring Bangladesh. The mass exodus happened after militants attacked police outposts on Aug. 25, followed by a massive military crackdown on the population. The United Nations calls the country’s military response “a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.” But persecution of the Rohingya minority had forced many to flee long before the latest attacks by the Buddhist-majority in Myanmar.
Some Rohingya have made their way to Chicago. The refugee advocacy and resettlement organization Heartland Alliance is helping one Rohingya family that made it to Chicago last October. We’ll talk with Hasu Bin Jalal and Fariza Binti Mohamad Alam, both Rohingya refugees, and Shannon Ericson, their case manager from Heartland Alliance. They’ll talk about the arduous journey from Bangladesh to America and what they love about Chicago, including the winters.