ROHINGYA: In a State of The Stateless

“We need you to go to Aceh ASAP?”

It takes just one phone call before I found myself ready for my next assignment. Since I started working in the humanitarian field, there is always a dream of  going back to Indonesia and serve the nation, little did I know that the dream hasn’t been too far away?

I never been to Aceh before, but it is always on the list of province that I would love to visit since my trip to Sumatra back in 2008. I’ve heard fascinating stories about Aceh – The Mecca Solarium (Negeri Serambi Mekah) – where the nation’s heroines born and lived as a legend. When one dig deeper surpasses the Syariah Law, at the tipping point of Indonesia, you can indulge into mile after mile of white sand beach of Weh Island, a world famous dive site and Indonesia’s gem of marine biodiversity.

This special region talks turkey of politique et intric. Most of the adult still solidly remembers the dark and twisted story of the insurgence of Aceh Freedom Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka) that was spread across the region, along with the fall and rise of Aceh during 2004 Tsunami.

Maybe it was the fond memory of sheer kindness of humanity experienced by people in Aceh during Tsunami that moves a group fisherman on the morning of 15 May 2015, that despite being prohibited by the sea police,bravely rescued the boats crammed with Rohingya Refugees and Bangladeshi that have been stranded in Strait of Malacca for weeks.

That was the first arrival of Rohingya refugee in Indonesia.

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Satu Sore di Lhokseumawe

The story teller

Lhokseumawe – Indonesia, 10 Agustus 2015 [03:06pm]

Seperti yang dikisahkannya pada saya…

Hidupnya tidak jauh dari periuk, sumur dan sepetak warung. Saat muda dulu, sekali-kali ia menghias mata dengan celak hitam tapi itu saat suaminya belum purna. Lama-lama sekali, ia membeli sarung baru di pasar Minggu kota Lhokseukon dan dikenakannya saat hari raya tiba. Walau tinggal tak jauh, saat muda dulu tempat ini urung dikunjunginya. “Tak pantas” katanya.

Anaknya dua, satu wanita ikut suaminya hijrah ke Pidie sejak tahun 2002 dan satunya lagi pria yang terhanyut dalam romansa maskulinitas Aceh di akhir 90an. Saat konflik usai, alih-alih pulang, ia memilih merantau ke Balikpapan. Satu salam saat Lebaran tahun 2005 menjadi perjumpaan terakhir si Mamak dan Buyungnya. Continue reading