About the project
Doha Debates teamed up with human rights organization Fortify Rights to train three young Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh on the basics of photography and Instagram. These media fellows—Azimul Hasson, Dil Kayas and Omal Khair—were equipped with mobile phones and they’re now documenting their lives inside Cox’s Bazar, the largest refugee camp in the world. The project won the Shorty Social Good Award in the Immigration & Refugees category in November 2020.
Meet our fellows and follow their journey.
Exhibit at Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar
The 2023 Tasweer Photo Festival Qatar featured photography by the three graduates of the Doha Debates – Fortify Rights media fellows program. Additionally, Azimul Hasson spoke about storytelling and photography with museumgoers in Doha using our Portal, which connects people as though they’re in the same room.
A Chance to Breathe
A Chance to Breathe is a full-color hardbound book featuring the photography and poetry of Omal Khair, Dil Kayas and Azimul Hasson. These survivors of Rohingya genocide were forced from their homes in Rakhine State during the Myanmar-military-led “clearance operations” of 2017.
In 2018, Fortify Rights, in partnership with Doha Debates, began providing on-the-ground photography and social-media training for these three young refugees. Azimul Hasson, 20, dreams of pursuing higher education; Omal Khair, 18, believes that empowered women are agents of change; and Dil Kayas, 28, a young mother of three, has a strong passion for photography.
A Chance to Breathe is published with support from Doha Debates and Fortify Rights.
This documentary follows Omal Khair, Azimul Hasson and Dil Kayas as they learn to see their lives through a new lens — and offers the world a rare glimpse into what life is like for young Rohingya refugees.
Learn more about our fellows:
- The Guardian: ‘I want to tell of our suffering’: Comms crackdown puts Rohingya on mute
- Southeast Asia Globe: Rohingya photography: A life in pictures
- South Asia Journalists Association: Rohingya fellows named photography finalists
- Shorty Social Good Awards: Rohingya fellows win in Immigration & Refugees category
- Impact DOCS Awards: ‘Exodus’ receives Award of Merit in two documentary categories