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Pahang Rohingya Language School: The first Rohingyalish School in Malaysia

RB Report

July 21, 2013

Pahang Rohingya Language School: The first Rohingyalish School in Malaysia

School Theme: “Bring Rohingya Language from tongues to papers”

Project Supervised by: Rohingya Social & Welfare Association Pahang (Newly found organization) 

Mohammed Rafique Shah: Chairperson of RSWAP

Zahir Uddin Mohammed Babar: Project Manager & Founder of P.R.L.S

A Brief Story:

By: Zahir Uddin Mohammed Babar 

It was on Sunday afternoon of June 2, 2013 when I have visited to a remote village called Sebrang Balok in Kuantan of Pahang for organizing the Rohingya people on this issue of Rohingya Language School. I have crossed many questions raised by community elders which I have successfully answered to them. I had three separate proposals for them from which one of them is about opening a permanent Rohingya Language School for Pahang Rohingya Community. It is the first time in my life to take such a big step besides my study for extending the social services from my thinking to the practical fields. 

I believe that our problem is much concerned with socio-economic standards rather than political ones. We need to become more socialized and civilized through education and financial harmony for what we should have enough economic strength to change our standards of living from hand to mouth to a medium income family. Therefore, I proposed to the Rohingya people of Kuantan to have a permanent community/social bank for microloans/finances activities. At the same time, I have also proposed to have a Charity Fund (Zakat Fund) for those Rohingyas only who are disables, orphans, widows and olds with none to take care of them. I should thank Al-Mighty Allah who has changed the mind of the people towards my campaign. Now, it is not my success alone. It is a success for all Rohingya around the world to have permanent Rohingya Language School in Malaysia after Canada. 

Actually, it was not possible for me to have this achievement without having the support from the following persons. 

1. Mohammed Rafique Shah (Rafique) : Chairperson of RSWAP
2. Ali Jafor : Sponsor 
3. U Kyaw Khin ( Mohammed Sultan): Vice-chairperson of RSWAP
4. Mohd Sayyad (Jafor) : General Secretary of RSWAP
5. Ismail (Mamu)
6. Jafor Ahmed
7. Imam Hussein ( Batu 5)
8. Imam Hussein (Sebrang Balok)
9. Mohammed Rafique (Sungai Ular)
10. Hashim
11. Mohammed Ghani
12. Asst. Prof. Dr. Norlelawati A. Talib
13. Asst. Prof. Dr. Solachuddin Juahari Arief
14. Asst. Prof. Dr. Wan Mohd Azizi Wan Sulaiman
15. Asst. Prof. Dr. Marwan Saad Azzubaidi
16. Dr. Hakimi ( postgraduate, IIUM)
17. Mohammed Sinan Al-Maula ( Postgraduate, IIUM)
18. Mohammed Anas (IIUM Staff)
19. Shaharnizam Mustaffa 

My special thanks should go to Mr. Rafique (Chairperson of RSWAP), Mr Ali Jafor, Mr Shaharnizam Mustaffa, Jafor Ahmed, Ismail (Mamu), Mr Imam Hussein and Hashim for their extra efforts and potential supports towards the completion of our school.

Luckily, I have got a very strong driving force behind this campaign which was not me myself but it was Mr. Anwar S. Arakani and his wife Zainab, and their colleague, Christa Van Daele (Norway-born Canadian) from Kitchner, Ontario of Canada who has been inspiring me continuously with their initiation of first Rohingya Language School. Fortunately, Mr. Anwar S. Arakani came to visit Kuantan on my request to inspire the Rohingya community with his unique interview and exchange of ideas. My consideration for my own language is not about learning it only but to bring it into papers from different tongues so that we could update and expand it extensively in future. As I’ve observed, being a Rohingya from the same state, we used to talk in different dialects and tunes based on locations. For instance, people from Maungdaw town used to say ‘Mui’ (means “I”) while the people from Northern Maungdaw used to say ‘ Aññi’ (means “I”). There is maybe a very huge gap between the similarity of Rohingya language dialects used by Mrauk-U and Maungdaw-Buthidaung Rohingya. 

Therefore, it is noteworthy to focus on this untold story of our Rohingya language. We have been ignoring ourselves by giving up our hopes and opportunities that once we get to learn our own writing system. If we don’t spend our time and money for preserving and keeping our language updated, probably, our language may extinct very speedily without noticing of it. On the other side, the possibility of extinction of Rohingya language is very high (~10% in 2020) as long as we practice intercultural marriage due to refugee lives in exile. Before it is too late for us to bring our language into papers, we must start writing Rohingyalish now and pass it to our children so that the term ‘Rohingya’ remains in the world. I would like to say that our language is our identity and the identity is our right to resist injustice and inhumanity of Myanmar quasi-civilian regime. The more we learn, the more we know about our own culture, history and civilization so that we become really educated and civilized easily.

Mohammed Rafique Shah (Chairperson of RSWAP) explaining the plan to Mr. Shaharnizam Mustaffa (Police Officer).

Inside view of the Pahang Rohingya Language School
Few attendees of 18th July Opening Ceremony of P.R.L.S
Chairperson of RSWAP, third from the left. 
RSWAP members and volunteers were gossiping after Iftar and Dinner functions 
The first working day for the Pahang Rohingya Language School on 14th June, 2013 (Friday).
While Mohammed Rafique Shah was inspecting the working progress from behind and Mr Hashim came to join the school work as a volunteer from his duty with his company uniform. 
While the plastering work started on 21st June, 2013.
Working condition of first day on 14th June, 2013, seen Mr Ismail, Mr Imam Hussein, Mr Ghani, Mr Abdul Malik and Foyas.
Mr Jafor Ahmed (Asst. Manager of the project) while erecting the wall.
See the following links to have video messages from our International guests;

For any inquiry:

Zahir Uddin M. Babar: +60 14 528 6300
Chairperson of RSWAP: +60 14 989 5743 

  1. this is really a nice works are doing by you,i am also wants to support you really from my heart this is really a good thing to supporting the poor people and children.........Click Here

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