Chicago Red Cross Global Citizenship Hero 2018: Nasir Bin Zakaria
May. 08, 2018
Nasir Bin Zakaria was inspired by his personal experience to help fellow refugees. At 14-years-old, Nasir was forced to leave his family and flee from Myanmar. Twenty-three years later, he was granted refugee status and arrived in Chicago.
May. 04, 2018
When Aisyah Salamutallah stepped off an airplane onto U.S. soil in October 2016, she was greeted with blast of cold air.
“I really happy,” she recalled. After fleeing discrimination in Burma as a child, then living without legal status in Malaysia for more than 30 years, Salamutallah finally found her home in Chicago.
Rohingya refugees in Chicago face stress, anxiety after escaping horrors in Myanmar
Dec. 26, 2017
Hasan Korimullah was 8, maybe 9, when he saw his mother hacked to death. The pair had been on a shopping trip near their home in Myanmar when two men jumped out of the bushes with machetes, he said.
Hasan took off running, eventually escaping, while his mother became another casualty of the ongoing violence in Myanmar against Rohingya Muslims like the boy’s family.
Web Extra: Rohingya Find New Life in Chicago
Dec. 11, 2017
As they flee persecution in Southeast Asia, Chicago has become home to the largest population of Rohingya Muslims in the U.S. Paris Schutz has this report.
Rohingya culture center in West Ridge offers comfort amidst crisis
Nov. 29, 2017
CHICAGO (WLS) — Tragic images from Myanmar are difficult to watch.
They show the plight of the Rohingya people, described by ABC News as a Muslim minority in the country also known as Burma. The Rohingya were stripped of citizenship by Myanmar’s government in 1982, though they’ve lived there for generations.
North Side cultural center unites Rohingya refugees together
Nov. 28, 2017
Nasir Zakaria is one of hundreds of Rohingya, a stateless Indo-Aryan people from the Rakhine State, Myanmar, who found refuge in Chicago’s North Side. After immigrating to the U.S. from Myanmar in 2013 and settling in Rogers Park, Zakaria said he could not sit idly while his people suffered from horrendous persecution.
Zakaria founded the Rohingya Cultural Center, 2740 W. Devon Ave., in April 2016 with assistance from the Zakat Foundation, a Muslim organization that provides an annual grant to pay rent, utilities and Zakaria’s salary.
Rohingya who fled Myanmar find refuge in Chicago
Nov. 4, 2017
Muslim Rohingya who escaped deadly violence and persecution in Myanmar have found new homes in the United States.
One of the largest concentrations of Rohingya is in the US city of Chicago. Al Jazeera’s John Hendren reports from Chicago.
Rohingya Expatriates Push US Lawmakers to Act on Myanmar
Oct. 18, 2017
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS — Although he hasn’t seen his home country in more than a decade, modern technology has made it easy for Abdul Jabbar Amanullah to stay in regular contact with his family in Myanmar’s remote Rakhine state.
Using email and social media to interact with loved ones has made his life as a refugee now living in Chicago a little easier, even if the latest news coming from his village has been growing increasingly unsettling.
Refugees Fleeing Ethnic Cleansing in Burma Are About to Get Even Less Help From the US
SEP. 29, 2017
The phone rang, and Nasir Bin Zakaria jolted awake. It was almost 2 a.m. on Tuesday, and the 40-year-old community leader had gone to bed only an hour earlier. The streets outside his apartment in downtown Chicago were quiet. “Hello?”
The men on the line sounded panicked. They had never met Bin Zakaria. They lived on the other side of the world, in a small village in western Burma, where, in the mid-afternoon heat, they were preparing to run for their lives.
After visiting RCC, Senator Durbin spoke to the Senate floor regarding the Rohingya genocide. He mentioned RCC and even showed a picture Nasir Zakaria, our Director. He, along with Senators, McCain, Cardin, Rubio, Merkley, Young, Feinstein, and Markey introduced the Burma Human Rights and Freedom Act of 2017. It calls for the following:
- State the U.S. policy of calibrated engagement, which supports a peaceful, prosperous, and democratic Burma that respects human rights of all of its people regardless of ethnicity and religion.
- Authorize humanitarian assistance for the Rohingya, including refugees in Bangladesh, the region and implementation of the Kofi Annan Commission.
- Instruct Treasury to only vote for international financial assistance projects that do not partner with the Burmese military owned enterprise.
- Express the Sense of Congress calling on the Burmese government to ensure the right of returnees and to fully implement all of the recommendations of the Kofi Annan Commission.
- Codify U.S.-Burma military to military cooperation restrictions.
- Reimpose the U.S. jade and rubies ban and require a report on Burma GSP privileges.
- Require a report on which individuals should be placed on visa bans and on the SDN list for senior Burmese military officials.
- Require a report on promoting inclusive and responsible economic growth and development in Burma.
- Require a report on accountability for ethnic cleansing, crimes against humanity and genocide in Burma, a feasibility and desirability study of potential transitional justice mechanisms for Burma, and authorize technical assistance for it.