Rohingyatographer: Sharing the Rohingya story in photos

20 Feb 2024

In 2017, photographers Ro Yassin Abdumonab, Ishrat Bibi, and Sahat Zia Hero were among 700,000 other Rohingya people who fled targeted campaigns of violence launched by the Myanmar military in Rakhine state, southwest Myanmar.

Since then, these three photographers have documented their daily lives in the biggest refugee camp in the world, in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar district, where this Muslim minority group found refuge and where teams from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) provide medical care. 

Seven years after their exile, Rohingyatographer – a collective of Rohingya photographers to which they belong and with which MSF worked to produce this photo report – continue to witness and document the desperate living conditions Rohingya refugees are facing within the camps in Cox’s Bazar. 

18 year old orphan in Cox's Bazar

Sadeka, 18, is an orphan who grapples with the hardships of life in the camps supported only by her elder sister. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Sahat Zia Hero 

 volunteer NGO worker in Cox's Bazar

Abul, a volunteer NGO worker and father of four, rises early to get ready for work. With cases of dengue fever on the rise in the camps, he encourages his family to take precautions by using mosquito nets. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ro Yassin Abdumonab

Young boy combs his hair before meeting with friends to take a course organised by NGOs in Cox's Bazar

Muhammad combs his hair before meeting with friends to take a course organised by NGOs. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ro Yassin Abdumonab

Rohingya refugees walk down a street in the camp in Cox's Bazar

Rohingya refugees walk down a street in the camp, which they are not allowed to leave. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ro Yassin Abdumonab

A Rohingya couple carry their child through the camp  in Cox's Bazar

A Rohingya couple carry their sick child through the camp to find a doctor. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Sahat Zia Hero

Bbarber services for the community inside the refugee camps

Rahman provides barber services for the community inside the refugee camps. Rohingya refugees cannot legally work in Bangladesh. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ro Yassin Abdumonab

Mohammad carries his sick grandson back from the health centre. Cox's Bazar

Mohammad carries his sick grandson back from the health centre. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Sahat Zia Hero  
 

Rohingya refugees queue to collect water before Friday prayers.

Rohingya refugees queue to collect water before Friday prayers. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Sahat Zia Hero

Aziz digs in a canal to improve drainage near his shelter. Cox’s Bazar

Aziz digs in a canal to improve drainage near his shelter. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Sahat Zia Hero

Cows graze on a rubbish dump in one of the camps for Rohingya refugees.

Cows graze on a rubbish dump in one of the camps for Rohingya refugees. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ro Yassin Abdumonab

Muhammad does his homework. Cox's Bazar

Muhammad, who is learning Arabic, does his homework. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ro Yassin Abdumonab

Girls poses with tanaka, a traditional cosmetic, on her face. Cox’s Bazar

Ayesha, 12, poses with tanaka, a traditional cosmetic, on her face. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ishrat Bibi

Man crafts chicken coops out of bamboo.

 Nur Mohammad, 79, crafts chicken coops out of bamboo. A former soldier, he struggles to earn enough money to make up for inadequate food rations and feed his family of six. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ishrat Bibi 

Woman crafts fishing nets to earn money and provide food for her family. Cox’s Bazar

Zainura, 44, crafts fishing nets to earn money and provide food for her family. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ishrat Bibi

A child sleeps in a cradle suspended from the roof of a shelter in one of the camps.

A child sleeps in a cradle suspended from the roof of a shelter in one of the camps. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ro Yassin Abdumonab

camps' narrow streets are full of children in Cox's Bazar

In the evenings, the camps' narrow streets are full of children, a stark reminder of the lack of dedicated play spaces. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Sahat Zia Hero

Rohingya refugee woman

Rohingya refugee Zahida lives alone with her child in one of the camps after her husband abandoned them. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Sahat Zia Hero

 Rohingya refugees meet up and talk in the streets of the camps. Cox’s Bazar

 Rohingya refugees meet up and talk in the streets of the camps. Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, October 2023 © Ro Yassin Abdumonab