Sunday, November 28, 2021

Lockdown life in a Rohingya community

Some have jobs that require them to venture out from their homes while others must stay put, along with millions of others across the country.

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Kurbanbi Abdul Malik (centre) is one of them. A single mother, she works as an Alam Flora cleaner for which she is paid RM1,000 a month. She lives with her friend and fellow refugee Mumtaz Sultan Ahmad (left) who, like her, is a single mother.

While Kurbanbi has a job, Mumtaz does not and instead spends her days cooped up at home taking care of both of their children as the Covid-19 lockdown stretches on.

In a small shack not far off live Mohamed Yunos Abdullah (right) and his brother Mohamed Rofique Abdullah (centre) who help their father collect scrap material.

Their father, Abdullah Boshir Ahmad, does what repair work he can find but he always has time to stop and chat with his youngest child, Nuraqis Abdullah.

With schools closed under the movement control order, the brothers follow their classes from home, sitting on the floor with their father as he works.

Elsewhere, Nur Nafiza Mohd Hussin rocks her baby to sleep as she keeps a strict eye on her other children who must all stay indoors during the lockdown period.

Sofea Sultan meanwhile folds some clean laundry while her children do what they can to keep themselves entertained in their small room.

Despite the lockdown, the sense of community continues in the flats where a woman feeds her child outside their unit, accompanied by one of her neighbours.

Those who are fortunate enough to have more space in shared houses sometimes venture outdoors with their children for a short while.

The courtyard is old and cracked but they are happy to be able to sit in the sun while their children wander about.

But they rarely venture beyond the gate of the premises, mindful of the restrictions under the movement control order.

Some of their children are more adventurous.

But the minute they see a stranger, they run straight back home to their waiting parents.

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