Kultur on Tour - MyanmarBike

Azad Mohammed

with "A Rohigya Refugee visits the Zoo"

About the artist

Azad Mohammed

Azad war einer der wenigen Fotografen, die zu Beginn der so genannten Rohingya-Krise die Migration und die Bedingungen in den Flüchtlingslagern dokumentierten.

EN: Was born and raised in Arakan State, Myanmar. He has completed his matriculation in Myanmar and due to the government's restrictions to study higher education in Myanmar Azaad couldn’t complete university in Myanmar and fled to India to study further but due to the leaked of identity documents Azaad couldn’t complete there too. Azaad is passionate about photography and poetry and has learned to follow his passion.Azaad believes photography and poetry is the best way to express his feelings. He was the first Rohingya photographer who have done so many projects in Bangladesh refugee camp known as world largest refugee camp. Since 2019 Azaad lives in Germany and works as a Sushi Master at his own Sushi Kiosk.

Azad သည် ရိုဟင်ဂျာအရေးဖြစ်ပွားချိန် စတင်သည်မှစကာ နေရပ်ပြောင်းရွှေ့ခြင်း၊ ဒုက္ခသည်စခန်းများတွင်းမှ အခြေအနေများကို မှတ်တမ်းနိုင်ခဲ့သည့် ဓာတ်ပုံဆရာအနည်းငယ်များထဲမှ တစ်ဦးဖြစ်သည်။

The Art

Mein Name ist Azad Mohammed und ich bin im Staat Arakan in Myanmar geboren und aufgewachsen. Ich habe mein Abitur in Myanmar gemacht und konnte aufgrund der staatlichen Beschränkungen für ein Hochschulstudium in Myanmar mein Studium in Myanmar nicht abschließen und bin nach Indien geflohen, um weiter zu studieren, aber aufgrund der durchgesickerten Ausweispapiere konnte ich auch dort nicht abschließen. Meine Leidenschaft gilt der Fotografie und der Poesie, also habe ich gelernt, meiner Leidenschaft zu folgen. Für mich sind Fotografie und Poesie die besten Mittel, um meine Gefühle auszudrücken. Ich war der erste Rohingya-Fotograf, der so viele Projekte in einem Flüchtlingslager in Bangladesch gemacht hat, das als größtes Flüchtlingslager der Welt bekannt ist. Ich lebe seit 2019 in Deutschland und arbeite als Sushi-Meister in meinem eigenen Sushi Kiosk.

EN: Azad became one of the few photogrpahers at the begin of the so called Rohingya crisis and is documenting the migration and conditions in the refugee camps.

A Rohingya Refugee Visits the Zoo


I went to the zoo—
The animals were overcrowded and it was full.
It took a full day to see it all.
I was young,
It was like an early epiphany.
The zoo was also full of people wandering,
Some with families, some with friends,
Some with girlfriends, some with boyfriends,
And some alone, as I was.

There was a tiger in its pen,
Stripes matted with dirt
Who paced around,
As if to change his view of the world
Outside the cage.
Glee among the crowds,
Small children crying.
Some were angry, others were in awe.
Some imagined the caged beast as living free.
The life of the tiger,
Sold each day
For your joy.
Imagine a monster in the wild,
The men who bought it’s freedom
Grow richer.

Imagine those who let the cage crumble.
Maybe they still thought the animals would be
Sheltered and well fed
That their life could be good
Without looking out onto the world.
I visited the beast, with everyone else
But was met by heartache and sorrow.
My humble suggestion to the world:
Let the animals free.


Awake in the night, unable to sleep,
I thought of my people trapped inside gates.
Checkpoints, guards, soldiers and guns
Monitoring the movements of old men
Longyis caked with dirt.
In this dream, we pace from Camp A to
Camp B,
Imagining a world outside of the cage.
Journalists arrive, ask us to re-live the trauma.
They screen us for TV, win awards.
Charities take photos of crying children,

To place them on brochures, asking for dona-

Diplomats speak to us in our most formal
They assure us they hear us,
Then never come back.

Should the cage crumble,
They might think,
At least we were well fed
With sheets over our heads.