I was very excited about coming to Perth as a student, but then 2 weeks before I left, my mum was diagnosed with chronic renal failure, and she was still in hospital when I left Burma. So I had only one thing in my mind as I left – to do well in Australia so
When I was 15 years old, the protests in Syria began – a game changer for most people. I lived in a pro-government area, but my views towards the Syrian government changed a lot. Like many high school students, I was thinking of running away and joining the fight against the government. But social revolutions
In Iran, I had a job as a researcher in Aquatic Animal Health. But opportunities to grow and develop a profile in national and international levels for a female scientist were very limited, so it was always in the back of my mind to leave. Still, when I told my colleagues I was leaving for
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.
The first time we tried to leave Iran was not a success. We paid people smugglers to take us to Turkey. They divided us into two groups and said they would be moving us three days apart. In the first group was my mum, 3 sisters, my uncle and a friend. In the second group
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 husband and I both came to Australia as teenagers and we joke about how the only time we feel like we belong somewhere is when we fly over an ocean, because although we belong in two worlds – Zimbabwe and Australia, we also feel we don’t belong to either. My last visit to Zimbabwe,
When I was 7 years old, we had to leave Bhutan because the government kicked out all the people of Nepalese origin. But in Nepal we were not considered citizens either so we had to live in a refugee camp. I lived there for 20 years. It was a very hard life. Nothing was good.
One day, when I was 8 years old, we heard gunshots down the street, which meant that soldiers were killing innocent civilians. Dad rushed in and said, ‘We need to leave right now’ and my parents ran around grabbing food and whatever they could lay their hands on. Of course I didn’t understand what was