“Music, the role of father – what could be seen from the largest refugee camp in the world”
~ Looking back on the inspections of Rohingya refugees ~
Five days before MIYAVI visited the Cox Bazaar in Bangladesh, an 8 – year – old boy nurular arrived at the Kutupalon refugee camp with his family and became a member of the camp, a “temporary house” of refugees.
In early February, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador MIYAVI visited Bangladesh, he met hundreds of Rohingya refugees including Nural and heard various stories such as desire to return home, desperation, hope, safe.
Angelina Jolie UNHCR ‘s envoy has enthusiastically supported people forced to pursue home for over ten years. This time, I heard that MIYAVI who is also a friend is inspecting Bangladesh, I met people who live in refugee camp, which is said to be the largest scale on Earth, and wanted to know how he felt.
Jolie special envoy served as MIYAVI and co-producer at MIYAVI’s music video “The Others” announced in 2016 UNHCR ver. Among them, refugees all over the world including Mr. Lebanon, MIYAVI visited UNHCR’s activity site for the first time in 2015, are appearing.
Special Angelina Jolie (A ): Whenever I meet refugees, I have felt that there is more to be done besides talking to them and telling them what they need. But MIYAVI has music. When I saw images playing the guitar in front of refugee children, I felt this was important. Not only because music brings joy and pleasure. It is torn from what I love and it is transmitted to the refugees that there are many “musicians” in the refugees everyday, just by living.
“Expressing something” creative “is a necessary tool to live and is indispensable in life.
How did you feel when MIYAVI visited a refugee camp so far and play music?
MIYAVI (M ): I felt honest when I visited refugees in Lebanon for the first time after being stimulated by the activities of the special envoy of Jolie. It is because there was neither knowledge nor experience nor a strong determination like you.
But strumming the guitar, the eyes of the children shone. I was so enthusiastic and overwhelmed by that energy. Until then I heard the word “refugee”, there was an image that somewhere dark, hopeless, burdened with a burden, always looking downward, but it completely disappeared. They were lively. Especially the children, their eyes were not dead, they were much brighter and powerful than our eyes. When I saw that figure, I realized I could do something through my music.
Even if you have a guitar, you can not protect people who confronted a man holding a gun at the battlefield. But through music, you may be able to change the way people think. Music can not change the world at once, but it can bring change and influence people. People influenced by music may eventually be able to change the world. I was convinced that one of my mission as a musician is here.
A: I know families well with MIYAVI because of my family relationship, but I think that refugee camps also met the same generation girls. What kind of children were there? As the same father, maybe we sympathized with the fathers who live in the camp where children can not give what they need now.
M: Many innocent children were not trained properly. Of course, I think that food, water and health are the most necessary in emergencies, but one of the most important things is education. That is the parents’ most frustrating thing.
It was when I was playing guitar chords with Left hand in Lebanon. Everyone was waiting for the refugee children to wait for their strings to touch, but some of them started fighting. It is a fight fight. I was worried that this was serious, and asked if the refugee adults who were there were all right. But because it is a child’s fight. Certainly this may be just a child’s fight. But in the future it may trigger conflict if you do not receive correct education, do not learn about the importance of using things with other people together, recognizing differences, cooperating and respecting each other.
A: In Bangladesh, have refugee fathers met?
M: I met a family of Rohingya who just arrived at the refugee camp a few days ago. Abreb (30), the father of three children, said that they had to pay 100,000 chat (about 8,000 yen) to the broker and all of the baggage and money they had. His wife Hamida (30) said, “I decided to come here to save my family’s life.” If the same happens to my family … … imagination is not easy, but I think I took the same action. If the order to protect the family, to the absolute about anything to it because they decided.
“I was overwhelmed by a huge refugee camp” -MIYAVI
A: Can you imagine your family being in such a situation?
M: It’s very difficult. But I think that you must be able to imagine. People called refugees originally lived similar to us. There is a home to return home, there is a work proud, and there was a dream.
Peace does not exist in nature. If we can not stop the refugee crisis, similar problems will come to me in the near future. That is why it is important to think of it as a global problem. Not only the area where the crisis is occurring, but all people living on this earth should work towards solutions. Everyone must realize that if you can not do it, eventually you will come back to yourself and get in trouble.
A: When I myself went to India eleven years ago , I first met Rohingya refugees. Do they feel that the world finally knew their plight? Or are you desperate that you lost everything now? What kind of voice did you hear on the scene? Do you feel that refugee families are abandoned from the world?
M: Because there is basically no connection with outside, I do not know much about what is happening outside my community. However, I think that I feel isolated from the world. I can not get a job, I can not vote in the election, I can not legally go outside the camp. I do not even have an identity. They look like birds in the basket.
A: Did you feel the difference in Bangladesh compared to visits by Thailand and Lebanon? The world’s largest refugee camp, what do people need most?
M: At first it was overwhelmed by the scale of the camp scale. At the same time they are surely being protected by UNHCR and other donor agencies, NGOs and Bangladesh government. That is one of the things I felt great this time.
A: After meeting a lot of people on the site, what kept you most impressed?
M: I first talked to a man who came to Bangladesh for the first time in 1992, once back to Myanmar in 1995 and escaping to Bangladesh for the first time in 20 years. I met someone who evacuated three times to Bangladesh from the 1970s.
They are people without nationality in the first place. The house is burned, the family is killed in front of you, and the spirit is completely beaten. Even after such a miserable experience, I knew that I wanted to return to my country and I felt that my heart could be confined. Even though they can see their country from here as well, they feel close to reach soon, but they are actually very far away.
A: What message did you receive from children who met you locally?
M: I hope. Their eyes are not dead. This is what adults should protect. Children themselves are responsible for the future. In order for the world to unite and live, we have the responsibility to arrange the living environment of children and opportunities for education and to guide them in the right direction.
A: Have you encountered refugees at UNHCR’s activity site and did MIYAVI change in yourself?
M: A stronger determination and responsibility has grown. I appreciate giving me such opportunities and missions. I will promise to do my best as UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador from now on.