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Malaysia

Ahmin Lahpai, 29

Ethnic Karen refugees from Burma now living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I was living in Gang Dau Yang village, teaching at nursery school, when my mother got very ill. I went to see her but on the way we ran into Burmese soldiers. There was fighting between the Burmese Army and the Karen Independence Army (KIA) in the area so they suspected everyone and arrested us. They took us to a military camp and that night an officer and two soldiers came to take me away. I was very scared and started to scream and struggle.

I managed to run into the forest and hide in a nearby village. I escaped from that village by boat and met a friend who knew a trafficker. The trafficker arranged for me to get out of the country by taking me and ten other people to the border with Thailand.

My husband had escaped to Kuala Lumpur some time before me to get away from the military. I missed him very much and only found out where he was in 2009 when an agent told me that he had made it to Kuala Lumpur. When I heard his voice again for the first time I was full of joy – I thanked God that we could meet again. When I arrived in Kuala Lumpur and he came to the place I was staying I cried and felt that my future was in the hands of God. I want to be resettled so I can support my family. They are suffering because of the war.