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Rohingya in Chicago

Ali Lapetina | United States

A group of Rohingya people look out the shuttle bus after leaving the Plaza of the America's Rally Against Genocide of Rohingya Muslims in Chicago, Illinois on September 23, 2017. The children were chanting "Please save Rohingya."

The Rohingya people have been desperately escaping Myanmar, the country where they have faced persecution for generations. The situation now borders on genocide and more than 650,000 have fled just in the past few months to find safety in the neighboring Bangladesh. Though the refugees are mostly in camps in Cox Bazar, Bangladesh, they have also been trickling into the United States in recent years. Over 400 families have settled in Rogers Park on Chicago’s North Side, one of the country’s largest concentrations of Rohingya. The body of work explores their journey to assimilate into American life while staying true to the traditions of their home country and Islam.

Ali Lapetina is a documentary photographer and educator based in Detroit, Michigan. Her personal work explores stories of immigrant and displaced communities navigating daily life in America. She is also the founder and director at Women of Banglatown, an all women's community organization that offers free art programing for neighborhood girls and income generating activities for immigrant women in Hamtramck, Michigan.




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