We are really proud to share with you the RE-ROOTED exhibition featuring our member Sirazul Islam. Sirazul is a campaigner and a member of the ENS community group, working alongside ENS on our Stateless Journeys project. He is also a recent law graduate and Youth Director of the British Rohingya Community organisation.
When Comic Relief first approached us about raising the profile of statelessness in their migration campaigns, we connected them with Sirazul. For the statelessness movement, it was a really important opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges faced by stateless refugees in Europe and to get the message across to new audiences.
In his own words, Sirazul was born in Kutupalong Refugee camp and spent 8 years there before moving to the UK. Sirazul was stateless for 18 years and has survived a genocide. Sirazul graduated from the University of Manchester with a Law degree and now works to ensure the Rohingya community, and others in similar situations, have access to their human rights.
“To be considered stateless – the simplest way to put it, is breathing and living but not being alive. You’re not accepted by anyone. The first decade of my life I was treated as a subhuman because I never had anything to call home.”
“What I love the most is how quickly and easy it was for me to assimilate into the UK. Bradford is the most diverse city in the UK. In my secondary school there were 93 languages spoken. It was very, very easy to know that there are other people who went through the same experiences as you.”
Sirazul is a seasoned campaigner for the rights of stateless people and we are proud to have been able to work alongside him on this storytelling project. We will always support opportunities for people to share their experiences on their own terms, and in a way that respects how they wish for these to be used. As part of our Stateless Journeys campaign, we are working closely with Sirazul and other stateless changemakers to call on European governments and the EU to provide full rights and protections for stateless refugees across the region.