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Project August 16, 2021

Rohingya Diaspora in the U.S.

Rohingya people gather to pray for Eid al-Adha
Rohingya people gather to celebrate Eid al-Adha (one of the two official holidays celebrated within Islam) prayer at the Muhlenbeck farm in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Image by Imran Mohammad Fazal Hoque. United States, 2021.

How does the trauma of persecution continue to affect the mental health of the Rohingya population in the United States? Imran Mohammad Fazal Hoque explores the journey of the Rohingya diaspora in the U.S., investigating the emotional complexity of new lives.

The Rohingya are newcomers to western society, and many have settled in Chicago, Milwaukee, Indiana, and Texas. The Rohingya people have suffered significantly from decades of systemic persecution by their country's military. They are the Indigenous people of Arakan State in Myanmar, formerly called Burma, a country that has been ruled by a military junta since its independence.

This project includes interviews with Rohingya people of various ages living in the U.S. Two organizations established by the Rohingya people, the Rohingya Cultural Center of Chicago (RCC) and the Rohingya American Society (RAS) are cultural centers at the heart of the Rohingya communities in Chicago and Milwaukee.

Some Rohingya people have found a safe home as they try to recover from their past traumas, but on their journey into western society they encounter many obstacles. The majority are illiterate and their loved ones remain stateless.

The young generation is growing up in peace and stability, and they will introduce new perspectives to the Rohingya community.


teal halftone illustration of a family carrying luggage and walking


Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees
teal halftone illustration of praying hands