No Rohingya by Yves Bourny
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.
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 Cambodia.
The inspiration for this novel 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 to flare.
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.