In mid-2017, the government of Myanmar launched a brutal crackdown on the Rohingya minority in Rakhine
State and some one million of them had to flee to Bangladesh to escape what the UN said was a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”.
Leaving was wrenching.
Every Rohingya refugee has a story of pain, loss and longing for home. Most of them now live in overcrowded, squalid refugee camps on the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh.
Nearly every Rohingya refugee has a story that is nothing less than a nightmare.
The violence is described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing” by the UN, which has documented allegations of widespread killings, sexual violence and other abuse.
Al Jazeera photojournalist Showkat Shafi travelled to Bangladesh and met the Rohingya living in refugee
camps in Cox’s Bazar.
He came back with 100 stunning portraits.Their faces are marked by what they went through, yet their resilience and strength show as they tell Shafi their stories.
What happened in Myanmar spared none of the Rohingya; the elderly, women, and children have all been affected.
They had to leave their homes and the lives they knew; many left behind loved ones who went missing or were killed in the violence.
Living as refugees, the questions remain: How will the Rohingya rebuild their lives? What can future generations look forward to?
Difficult questions to answer as the world watches this catastrophe.