Finding Hope in Hopelessness: Abul Alam’s Story

This is Abul Alam, a 52-year-old man— one of the 920,000 refugees from Rohingya living in Cox’s Bazar. But Abul Alam is so much more than just a refugee.

He is a man who loves. A man who teaches. A man who, despite his hardships and struggles, remains steadfast in his faith.

A man who continues to find the hope and strength to keep going every single day despite having nothing.

He is a man who has no savings, no money, and no riches, but still has more wealth than many others…

He is a man who has the respect and love of his community.

Abul Alam
Abul Alam reading the Holy Qur’an in his shack.

Abul Alam is an Imam and a volunteer teacher in an Arabic Learning Centre in the Camp. He spends his days reading the Qur’an and teaching the youth about it. It doesn’t matter to him if he doesn’t earn a penny for his efforts— he does it so the children know how to face the world with kindness and love.

When we asked him how he feels about the work he does, he said:

“I have no more honorable work than teaching Religion to our young children and youths. Each word I teach them will be rewarding to me. No religion teaches hate or harming others, and neither does Islam. Islam teaches the best humanity: to respect others, to love and care for others, and to be honest.

I teach students in the Arabic Learning Centre in my Camp for free. No one pays us. But the respect of my community and the lives of students changing in a good way makes me feel that I’m doing an important job.”

To Abul Alam, honesty, love, respect, and kindness are the building blocks of life– and humanity– itself.

He was forced to flee from his homeland in Myanmar and has now taken refuge in Cox’s Bazar.

He lives in a makeshift shack with little to no furnishing or living supplies.

There’s no electricity in his shack, no clean water, and no modern-day facilities…

And old age makes it even more difficult for him to get by…

Life is a struggle, but he has learned to live with it. He refuses to let the hopelessness take his kindness away, and he strives every day to teach the younger generation to do the same!

But the struggles are wearing him off…

Every day, he is exposed to dirty and contaminated surroundings and forced to drink unclean water because that’s the only water available to him!

No one deserves a life like this.

To help ease him and all the other refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Ek Plate Biryani has taken the initiative to install deep-well hand pumps, and to provide them with warm clothes and fulfilling meals.

Together with your help, we can make sure people like Abul Alam have access to basic necessities like clean drinking water, warm clothes, and proper nutrition…

So that they can continue to spread their kindness and share their hope with the other refugees who are losing their faith in humanity.