The Rohingya community will host an open house at its new Cultural Center on Saturday, April 9, 2016, from 1-4 p.m. Approximately 1,000 Rohingya have chosen to make West Ridge their American home.
Formerly Burmese citizens, the Rohingya have become stateless as a result of official government policy in their homeland. They are a Muslim minority in a majority-Buddhist country (Burma, now known as Myanmar), caught up in the international refugee crisis, and, like other refugees, find it difficult to persuade other countries to grant them asylum.
The United States Holocaust Museum’s Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide issued a report citing “mass atrocities” committed against the Rohingya in Burma, including loss of citizenship and confiscation of property without recompense. The report warns of the possibility of genocide against the Rohingya remaining in Myanmar. [Officially, the United States Government does not consider the Rohingya to be victims of genocide.]
The Zakat Foundation of America is helping the Rohingya set up their Cultural Center. This international charitable organization provides support for deprived persons around the world, helping them transition from poverty and helplessness to independent and productive lives. Zakat officials will be attending the open house.
The Rohingya will be offering traditional foods to visitors and are looking forward to meeting their new neighbors and introducing West Ridge residents to Rohingya culture.
The Center is located at 2740 West Devon Avenue (between Fairfield and California Avenues).
For more information on the Rohingya, please click here for RohingyaBlogger, which provides news stories from around the world on the Rohingya plight.
Please join the Rohingya in celebrating their new lives in America, and help welcome them to West Ridge.