I am from the Sayed denomination in the Hazara group in Afghanistan – a minority within a minority. We are actually one of the most persecuted minority groups in the world. In our tribe, my family were very well respected, and that was both our strength and our weakness, as unfortunately my parents were even
My father died 7 years ago. Unfortunately, in Afghanistan, when a woman loses her husband, she has no rights. And as they are not allowed to be educated, they cannot take care of their children by themselves. Instead the brother of the husband will automatically take over in taking care of her and her family.
I was only 6 months old when my dad got killed in the war, so I don’t have any memories of him. Mum was always the only person providing for us. She worked in the daytime as a midwife, and at night in the emergency department helping people who had been hurt by the bombs.
My family is originally from Afghanistan, but when the Taliban took over, they started the genocide of the Hazara people there. Unfortunately, we are very easy to identify because we have distinctive facial features so it wasn’t safe for us to live there anymore. As a result, just before I was born, my family fled
My parents were open minded and educated, so I was allowed to go to school in Afghanistan, but they were just small local schools and there were maybe seven levels in the same room. Also, there was always something going on that stopped me from finishing the term. I remember when my year 4 exams
Before I came here, I had a role with the United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, a political agency. I worked on the radio, producing and presenting stories that gave voices to those who were not often heard, including reports of human rights issues and civilian casualties. Usually, after we released those reports, there was
I came to Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan, so my level of education wasn’t very high when I got here. The first school I went to was Milperra, which is a school mostly for migrants who speak English as a second language. It’s a great place, because when you go there you’re all on
I began to question the existence of God when I was 16. It was a challenge for me, in the family as well as in the community – I had to be very tactful and diplomatic. Then, I heard that some religious extremists had made a list of non-believers to be killed, and that my
In the Broome detention centre, they said, ‘Outside this fence, there are snakes, crocodiles, and kangaroos and if they bite you, you’re going to be dead in two seconds!’ So we were too scared to try to escape. There were 1000 people living in that camp, but it was only set up for 300, so
In Pakistan, we lived in Hazara town, a town made up of almost 300,000 Hazaras who have had to leave Afghanistan due to their long history of being persecuted. My family arrived there when I was 5. Unfortunately, many people in Pakistan also don’t like Hazaras. We lived near a river where if you got