AID OUR JOURNEY: HELP SETTLE MY REFUGEE FAMILY OF EIGHT ON MERCER ISLAND AFTER ESCAPING GENOCIDE
Please donate to my fundraiser, helping my family’s resettlement on Mercer Island. After escaping violence and persecution in Myanmar, my family spent six years in distressing conditions in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. On December 8, they arrived on Mercer Island. Your support is crucial as they embark on this new chapter.
Your generous donations will directly support essential needs such as housing, food, medical treatment, and other associated expenses. My goal is to raise $100,000, and every contribution, regardless of size, will have a meaningful impact. Additionally, your assistance in spreading awareness about this campaign would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your kindness and generosity. Together, we can make a significant difference in helping my family build a stable and secure future.
MERCER ISLAND WELCOMED ME AFTER MY OWN HARROWING JOURNEY
My name is Mohamad Imran and I have lived on Mercer Island since 2016. I am a Rohingya from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Native to Myanmar, but considered “stateless”, my Rohingya community has faced unimaginable persecution and hardships. At the age of twelve, my parents made the heart-wrenching decision to send me away in the dead of night by boat to escape the Rohingya genocide at the hands of the Myanmar military regime. For three years, I clung to life, navigating treacherous paths through Myanmar, Thailand, and finally to Malaysia where I was captured and imprisoned in a Malaysian detention center. There, I survived starvation and abuse; I was surrounded by death and often thought I would be next. Through a miraculous intervention by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), I was granted the opportunity to relocate to the United States in November 2016.
I was placed with an amazing foster family who gave me shelter and guidance upon my arrival in the US as an unaccompanied refugee at age fifteen. When I stepped foot in the US, I could not speak or read English, nor could I write any language. Thanks to the United States and the incredible Mercer Island community, I am building a promising life for myself. I learned English and immersed myself in my studies, guided by compassionate and dedicated teachers at MIHS. I proudly graduated from Mercer Island High School in 2021 and became a US Citizen in 2022. Currently, I am studying accounting at Bellevue College while working part-time at Pagliacci and the Shore Club. I expect to earn my AA degree at the end of this school year and my next goal is to pursue a bachelor's degree. Beyond education, I joined the MI Football Club, where I started playing soccer and forged connections with people across the entire island. I also worked at QFC, where I got to know the Island’s wonderful residents. Mercer Island has become my home, and the community’s warm embrace has made me feel a genuine sense of belonging.
NOW I’M ASKING MERCER ISLAND TO WELCOME MY FAMILY
For the past six years, my parents and siblings have been confined to a refugee camp in Bangladesh. Living conditions there are dire, with scarce food, widespread theft, corruption, and limited healthcare (compounding my mother’s agonizing battle with lung cancer). My parents have been unable to work and my siblings have not received any education.
During this time, I have tirelessly dedicated myself to both my studies and my part-time job and have sent over half of my income to the Bangladesh Rohingya Refugee camp to help my family with their most fundamental human needs. But sending money wasn’t enough; I could not rest until we were reunited.
With the support of WA State Representative Tana Senn, Congresswoman Suzan Delbane’s office, Congressman Adam Smith’s office, and former Governor Gary Locke, I successfully secured my brother’s release last year from the same Malaysian detention center where I had been imprisoned seven years before (you can find out more about his story on the King 5 link below). He is now residing in Washington state with a foster family and attending Kentridge High School. After six long years of devoted labor, I have managed to free my entire family from the refugee camp, and have at last achieved my goal through the support of the US Refugee Assistance Program.
My family arrived in Seattle on December 8. Our reunion after so many years and the traumas we’ve endured is profoundly emotional for me.
For so long, I have wanted my mother to receive medical treatment, dreamt of my siblings obtaining an education, and yearned for my father to regain the ability to work. Now, for the first time in our entire lineage, I proudly represent our family as a citizen of the United States. I hope one day they too will experience such pride.
THE NEED FOR SUPPORT
The road ahead will be challenging, and that’s why I’m seeking your help. I will be taking on full responsibility for my eight family members while continuing my education and working part-time at Pagliacci and the Shore Club. I will help navigate my siblings’ education through the Mercer Island School District and help my parents find employment so they can support their family. Though I’ve diligently saved money for my family’s arrival, supporting eight people demands considerable resources.
My goal is to raise $100,000 to provide my family with a place to live, settle, and learn while they acclimate and find their own paths to becoming contributing members of our community, much like I have.
With love and gratitude,
LEARN MORE ABOUT ME AND MY STORY:
Last year, I was one of six students statewide who won the Transforming Lives Award by Washington State Association of College Trustees: Read Story about Mohamad's Transforming Lives Award
I wrote a book entitledThe Rohingya Struggle: View Mohamad's Book on Amazon
I was interviewed on KUOW in 2017: Listen to this story about me on KUOW
A story about my brother was on King 5 earlier this year: Watch the story about Iqram and Mohamad on King 5
I was interviewed on King 5 in 2019: Watch the interview on King 5