Selayang, Malaysia. March 2015
The Rohingya are a Muslim minority population living mainly in the state of Arakan in Myanmar. As a marginalized ethnic group, they have been subject to ethnic and religious persecution by the government. As a result, the Rohingya have in many cases become “stateless,” fleeing Myanmar to seek refuge elsewhere. Since the 1980s, many have sought refuge in Malaysia, and of the more than 150,000 asylum seekers registered in Malaysia, the Rohingya account for more than 40,000, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Madrasah Hashimiah is a community school and boarding house for orphans and the poor of the refugee Rohingya community in Selayang, outside Kuala Lumpur. Founded in 1994 by a Myanmar Muslim man, Ustaz al- Hafiz Hashim bin Kassimm, it began with three students and now has 170; nearly a third are orphans.
The school provides temporary shelter along with six full days of basic academic classes in mathematics, English, Malay and Myanmar, as well as religious classes such as Fardu Ain, Iqra and Tahfiz Koran.