I’m from a Syriac Catholic group who lived in Iraq. As Christians, we didn’t have any problems with others in our country. We were hard workers, we were faithful to our country and to the Arab citizens, but unfortunately, the situation in our country made big problems for us.
In 2014, ISIS occupied the big city of Mosul, not far from my town Bakhdida. At first, we thought that they wouldn’t attack us because the Kurdish forces had promised to protect us, but one morning they started shelling our town, and two children and a young lady died. Then there was panic all over town because we knew that three days before, ISIS had attacked the Yazidi minority and killed all the men and kidnapped the women, so we knew the same thing would happen to us if we stayed.
Fortunately, I had a car and I was able to take my parents, my four children, and my wife to Kurdistan in the north. It was a safe place at that time, and we were lucky because we found a house. It was an uncompleted house, but we lived there for two months with about 20 people. Many other Christians had to stay in the streets, because about 100,000 people had all moved there at the same time.
At that stage, we still thought we would be able to return to our city eventually. But then we heard that nearly all our houses and our churches had been looted and destroyed, some of them burned, and that the people who had done that were our neighbours from the surrounding villages. I was a veterinarian in my town, and many of these people had been my clients, so I felt very upset by that, and I didn’t feel I would be safe there again.
I decided to leave Iraq, and we fled to Jordan. We were lucky because at that time, the Australian government announced the program of accepting 12 000 extra refugees, which I immediately applied for. After three months, they called us for an interview, and by July 2016, we were in Geelong, Australia.
It’s very difficult for someone to leave their country and change their language, their culture, their tradition, their people, everything, but the kindness and helpfulness of the lovely people here in Geelong have made me feel like I am in my home country.
Now, I am the president of a Syriac association we have established here, and we are working hard for our community to support them in different ways. I am also hoping my qualifications will be recognised, so I can start my life again as a vet here, to be able to give back to Australia some of what it gave to me.
It’s hard to be completely happy when I still have friends and family overseas who are suffering. But I want to say thank you to the people of Geelong, and to the people of Australia in general, because they have given us a new life again.
Photograph by: Christine Morrissy http://morrissyphotography.com
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#storiesnotstereotypes #Iraq #Geelong #refugee #refugees #Australia #ISIS #migrants #migration #Syriac
Welcome Mukhles. I wish you and your family peace and happiness. God bless you.
Welcome to Australia hope you love our beautiful country and your family settle here
is Syriac Syria? Or is he from Iraq?
Welcome to you and your family. I hope you have a happy peaceful life and I wish all the very best for your family and friends who are still facing such an uncertain future.
Welcome Muhkles. I am a principal of a Catholic school in South West Sydney and we are blessed with many lovely families like yours joining our community. You and your children will be a blessing for our country.
So glad for you that you had that car and you all got out in time! So sorry for those that didn’t. And kudos to the kind people of Geelong!
Welcome to Geelong Mukhules!! It is a wonderful place to raise a family.
Welcome to Australia Mukhles and also to your family. I’m glad that you’ve found refuge here. All the best for the future.
Welcome Mukhles. Australia is lucky to have you and your family
I’m happy the people of Geelong were welcoming. Welcome to Australia Mukhles ????
Welcome Mukhles. I am so sorry to hear about your town but am so glad you and your family fled in time. Australia is richer for having you and I’m sure all the animals in Geelong will also be happy you are here in the future!
Hundred of Iraqi families in Lebanon are hopeless and action should be taken to help them
Welcome! My maternal grandparents were born in Wales and my paternal great- grandparents were born in England. My children married an American; a Canadian and an Australian whose parents were Chinese-Malay. I now live and work in NYC. My point: The world is a small place and I am very happy to hear your family are now safe and happy in Australia. Your grandchildren will all have AUSSIE accents! Are you ready for that? Lol! Once again welcome.
May blessings continue to follow you in whatever you pusue. I love hearing these stories. Our Canadian newcomers also seem to be happy with their new home and we are delighted to welcome them.
Thanks you for Sharing Angela… what brave people they are .. Many Australians persecute them without understanding what they have suffered
This is a real story about what ISIS has done to Christians and the minorities in Iraq. ISIS robbed and burned down the houses also ISIS captivated women and raped them … That made us to leave our home and look for save place to live in peace with our families.
After the suffering from a lot of problems and after the migration finally we become a part of Australia.
We thank Australia Government for its helping us.
والى اليوم الحقيقو وواقع الحياة المقبلة اصعب على مسيحي العراق والايام القادمة ستكون اسواء استاذ مخلص ونحن نعرف ان الايام القادمة اصعب ولاكننا وضعنا في الضرف الالصعب في وقت الجوء في لبنان واردن وتركيا بتوقيف او تاخير الستقبال الاجئين العراقيين وخصوصا المسيحيين الذين اتعبهم الزمن ونقص في الاموال لغرض العيش في دوله الاردن او البنان او تركيا فارجوا بالنضر الاعتبار للاجئين الموفودين لهذه الدول ليتسنى نحن الخروج وعدم تاخيرهم نعم الايام القادمة اصعب
I wish you and your family a safe and happy life in Australia Muhkles. You have so much you can contribute to your new home, through your character and experience. I’m proud to know you
So glad that you and your family are safe and here with us. I hope your country can find peace and that refugees who flee can find a home.????
We all went through that sadness and darkness but we have to face it and always start over with fresh and strong faith in the west.
Mukhles from my family to yours, welcome to our beautiful country. I hope you find peace, saftey and happiness here.
Welcome to Geelong. We are happy to have you. I’ve met a few Syrians in Geelong who came on the same program and they are absolutely lovely.
That’s a powerful story Muhkles and we appreciate you sharing it with us. And you’re making great prkgress building those boats too ! Is there anything we can do for the Syrian group to further assist with settling in.
Welcome Mukhles. I am so sorry for what you have endured but so glad we could provide a haven for you and your family. We are lucky to have you.
If you would like to support New Humans of Australia to share the stories of refugees, please visit: http://www.patreon.com/newhumansofaustralia
Welcome to Australia. I hope you & all your family find peace & happiness & that one day you can be reunited with your friends & family still in Syria.