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Yves Bourny has worked for 20 years for several
humanitarian organisations, with governments and the
United Nations in Asia and in Africa. He is now living in
The inspiration for this manuscript came from 10
years working in Myanmar, and his desire to draw
attention to the fate of the Rohingya minority living on
the Bangladeshi border. Yves Bourny has had the
privilege to be one of the few foreigners authorised to
travel to the Northern Rakhine State. His first visit was in 2004 to open a
major community health program for a French medical NGO in order to
provide for the primary health needs for 400.000 Rohingyas with no access
to health services. His last visit was in 2014 when tensions between the
Muslims and Buddhists were at a climax and serious incidents already started
Yves has received several literary awards for short novels. No Rohingya is
his second book. The first one Taliban Pastis is set in Afghanistan under the
Taliban, where he lived in 1998-1999.
No Rohingya interweaves the narrative of the family of Arun, a young
Rohingya in Arakan, Burma, with the tales recounted to the children of the
community by his elderly grandmother Tameema. As the family itself
becomes increasingly ensnared in personal and political persecution,
Tameema’s stories, centering on a child raised by wild dogs surviving in a
jungle of injustice, provide an alternative world for the memories and morals
of the community. As their misfortunes increase and their options narrow,
tragedy ultimately permeates both their real and imagined worlds.
The stories and experiences in No Rohingya are, unfortunately, solidly
grounded in the on-going real life tragedy that faces the Rohingya in Burma.
It is both an elegy for a community facing annihilation and a reflection on the
nature of history, belonging, and memory.