From a Syrian prison to thriving in Australia – a survivor’s journey
Refugee Week this year helps us reflect on the past and look to the future. This is also true of our clients and we’d like to take this opportunity to share with you one particularly uplifting story.
Karam (not his real name) arrived in Australia with his family as Humanitarian Program entrants after fleeing persecution in Syria. Karam and some of his friends from university were arrested for suspected political activity. They were imprisoned and subjected to physical and emotional torture. Karam was eventually released but one of his friends was not so fortunate, and unfortunately died as a result of the violence and brutality.
With Karam’s father and uncle also under suspicion by the authorities, the family had no choice but to leave their beloved home country and the very difficult decision was made to seek safety in nearby Egypt. Eventually they were recognised as refugees and resettled in Australia.
After a period of adjustment, which included learning English, adapting to a new culture and receiving assistance from Foundation House, the family is moving forward and thriving. They have just recently become Australian citizens and bought their first home.
Karam has graduated from university, and as well as giving back to the Australian community through volunteer work, he has a position as a consultant at a large finance and accounting firm. His brother is studying medicine and his sister is doing well at high school.
These are remarkable achievements for a family who have suffered so much loss and displacement, and is a testament to their strength, ingenuity and hard work. We are incredibly happy for Karam and his loved ones, and we wish them all the best as they continue to rebuild their lives in their new home country of Australia.