Born on 02/10/2001 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, Azizah has always been a stateless person. Born to a Rohingyan Father and a mother of another Burmese Minority “Kaying” people, she spent her childhood under the shadows of Malaysian society. Her father has been a Rohingyan refugee since 1998, and Azizah has never seen her mother as their parents divorced when she was 10 months old. Azizah has always grown up in a complex domestic environment, leaving her and her younger brother (from a different mother) fending for themselves for most of her life. At the age of 9, after their father secured a pathway to come to Indonesia for a better opportunity, she and her brother make their way across Indonesia and re-joined her father together in their journey of finding resettlement.
Her father eventually falls for a people’s smuggler scam to come through to Australia. As a family, they were about to make their way to Australia and have traveled through different parts of Indonesia before the Indonesian official intercepts them and arrested them near Makassar. Fortunately, presumably, because they are a family unit. They were not sent to the immigration detention centre, instead, they were sent directly to open community centres for refugees in Makassar. They have remained in that place since 2013.
Growing up as a young woman, she has survived sexual abuse, suicide attempts, sexual and physical harassment, and exploitation. Despite all that, she manages to continue her studies in an informal refugee run schools, as well as finding her community of friends, and manages to almost completely immerse herself in the Indonesian community, despite being stateless all her life. She hopes one day to go to Canada for her resettlement. Most refugees in Indonesia are registered by UNHCR, but the organisation has failed to resettle 99% of these people, as a result. All of these people are facing an indefinite wait in Indonesia without any civil or human rights, and none of these people have an option to get back home.