Yousuf, The Unsung Hero Who Saved 300 Rohingya Muslims From Impending Death

The Rohingya people are termed as the most persecuted minority in the world, and rightly so. As it stands, these people have not identified in their own home country, where they have resided since the 8th century. Since 1982, a law was passed terming them as non- Myanmar citizens basically which ensured that they cannot have access to education, healthcare or even legal identification like passports. There are about 1.1 Muslims living in Myanmar without any form of identity.

Their situation is made worse by the fact that not only are they not recognized in their own home country as citizens, but the government, in association with groups of Buddhists in the country, has on a number of occasions tried to flush them out of their country by starting a military crackdown that left hundreds dead, numerous others injured and raped. This is why many have chosen to flee

This is why many have chosen to flee the country into neighboring countries, like Bangladesh and Indonesia, in search of solitude.


In walks Yousuf.

Yousuf is a simple fisherman living on the Indonesian Langsa coast, who makes his livelihood from fishing and selling his catch. He, therefore, spends hours and hours on his boat. One particularly fine day, while on his fishing route, Yousuf stumbled upon a ship that was stranded in the ocean, laden with Rohingya refugees in a plight to flee from the persecution in their country. The ship had apparently broken and they had been stuck floating aimlessly in the ocean for 7 hours.

Yousuf, hero of the Rohingyans

Yousuf tried to contact authorities to help but it seemed the help would take too long. He, therefore, tried to help out his Muslim brethren the best way he could. There were so many on the ship and his boat could only hold 48 at a time. He filled in as many of the refugees as he could, sailed the 7 hours to the shore, dropped them and took the 7-hour sail back to get more. He made about 7 round trips to get the entire lot out of the ocean and

He made about 7 round trips to get the entire lot out of the ocean and onto dry land. Yousuf went for approximately 98 hours on his boat, without sleep or food, in an effort to ensure that all the Rohingyans were safe and out of danger, yet he did not give up but struggled on until the last one was safe and sound.

In an interview after, Yousuf stated that he had to help them. “The rule of the sea is everyone must help each other, regardless of where they were from”.

He continued to say that he was not looking for recognition or any reward as his only worthy reward would be from Allah on the judgement day.

Rohingya migrants stand and sit on a boat drifting in Thai waters off the southern island of Koh Lipe in the Andaman sea on May 14, 2015. The boat crammed with scores of Rohingya migrants — including many young children — was found drifting in Thai waters on May 14, according to an AFP reporter at the scene, with passengers saying several people had died over the last few days. AFP PHOTO / Christophe ARCHAMBAULTCHRISTOPHE ARCHAMBAULT/AFP/Getty Images

As life would have it, a few after his heroic deed, Yousuf’s boat was claimed by tides taking away his only source of livelihood. He could not manage to buy a new boat with his meager savings and needed help. IlmFeed came to the rescue and helped raise a little under 5,000 pounds which enabled Yousuf to buy a new boat.

It is honestly time for all Muslim nations to come together and force Myanmar to stop killing innocent Rohingyan Muslims. Some countries are already taking action to help the situation though it may not really be enough.

Saudi Arabia, for instance, has made it easy for those being persecuted to enter its borders. In this effort, the Saudi king, King Salman, has gone ahead and announced a Saudi Iqama that will accommodate 1 Million residents of Burma (current Myanmar).

Turkey has condemned the persecution and has also pleaded with the Bangladesh government to allow Rohingyans into the country and has offered to pay for any expenses that would be incurred.

h/t: ILMFeed

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