In Iran, they call it a democracy but it’s more of a dictatorship, and one day, I started protesting about the government’s policies. I knew the risks, but I felt someone had to do it. Finally, it became too dangerous for us to stay in Iran, and we escaped to Indonesia with the help of people smugglers.
In Iran, I was a civil engineer and Shekoofeh was an office worker, so it was a big shock for us to live in a refugee camp. One camp we lived in was actually a part of a jail, and we didn’t see the sun for 3 months. It was also overcrowded – around 100 people lived in 150 square meters sharing only two toilets. And because the smugglers had taken everything we had, we had no money or possessions. Also, Shekoofeh was dealing with a severe injury to her feet from a gas explosion in an Indonesian MacDonalds. Every day was bad. We had lost everything – family, country, job, house, money, everything. It was a difficult time, and our relationship suffered because of the stress.
But after two and a half years, we got our visa to come to Australia as refugees.
I knew that networking is often more important than a resume, so a month after we arrived, I volunteered to design the new kitchen for the Welcome to Australia building. Through that, I made some connections, and within a year, I got my first job, as a an Architectural Drafter. Now, 2 years later, I am self employed in the same area. Shekoofeh is currently studying a Diploma of Childcare and our baby is due in March.
Although we initially wanted to go to Sydney or Melbourne, we were settled in Adelaide, which we are very happy about. The people here are so kind and lovely. They welcomed us, they helped us and they supported us. And they guided us. We have made many Australian friends.
We feel very lucky to be here.
#storiesnotstereotypes #inspiration #refugees #migrants #migration #Iran #Adelaide #Australia
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With thanks, Nicola and Lucy.
A belated welcome from me. I hope that you feel welcome. Thank you for these stories NHA. I have pledged support
I am happy that you are here. May you both have a peaceful life here and good luck in becoming parents. A most exciting journey xx
What a journey. I can’t even imagine what it must of been like. Very happy you made here and so glad you were welcomed. Good luck with everything especially your new little bub soon to arrive x
Welcome – enjoy! We hope Adelaide and Australia continues to be your home!
Welcome to Australia. I am glad the three of you are here, safe in our big beautiful land.
Great to hear that things are working out for you both, this is called “the lucky country” for a reason ❤️
Freedom of speech, something here we all take for granted. How sad u had to leave your home for something so small (to us). I hope u will be happy here. Adelaide is my home town and I love it too!
thankyou for coming to Australia. you will no doubt make it a better place. I wish you all the best. xo
Welcome and thanks for your patience in Indonesia to be able to come to our country the right way.
Welcome to Adelaide. You and your family will be good for us.
Lovely story as so many are, enjoy your new baby and new life in our beautiful country.
I’m glad your journey has improved. Congratulations on the baby! It’s sometimes great to show the world that there are some genuine refugees. Some refugees are willing to work and contribute to the country and society.
I arrived in Australia with a visa on my passport but then again I am a refugee because I left my own country as I feared for my life.
Congratulations on the baby. How exciting. Wish the 3 of you a wonderful future ahead.
Welcome – I’m so happy for you that you were able to get a visa. ❤
As an Adelaide resident, WELCOME!! It’s a beautiful city and a great place to raise children. I hope you are truly happy here xxx
Sounds like one of those people that it would be great to sit down and have a meal with and hear their life story. Purely because it is so much different to mine.
I’m so glad you guys felt welcome and supported, especially during that time Abbott was PM (urgh). This is your home now, feel free to act upon your wishes and desires, and may you have a long and happy life here.
Welcome! Adelaide is better anyway! May you live a long and peaceful life in Australia.
I’m sorry you guys had to go through such hell. I’m delighted you are now settled and able to restart. You are a welcome addition to our country.
Mehdi Safa I know I’ve told you this before but I’m so proud, glad and honoured to know you 🙂
I’m so lucky you came to Adelaide or i would never have met my beautiful fiancé Hadis… Shekoofe’s sister… much love my beautiful family… can’t wait to meet the newest member… ❤❤❤❤
Honestly Australia with that huge area and less population and that much opportunaties is the best place for refugess…….
Wow! That’s quite a journey you’ve taken, physically, mentally and emotionally. I salute your courage and perseverance and wish you a future full of joys and satisfaction. We are so lucky to have you here.
WOW great story – keep it up Australia- please don’t turn into the horror story that is unfolding here in America right now with Trump’s new refugee ban ????
It is a disgrace to our democracy and is going to put us in more danger here and abroad !
These wonderful people have settled in one of the best places in Aust – my home town Adelaide ????
A totally refugee story. Great story. Great vibes. I wish you and the little one blossom here. ???? from a past immigrant from Iran. ????
Mehdi Safa, Adelaide is a better place for having you and your wife here. Your contribute to the community though your commitment to voluntary service is an inspiration to all who know you!