Refugee Week
Three men in neat casual wear standing on grass, one holding a cane

Azzam’s Story

In the tapestry of Refugee Week 2024, stories of resilience and hope intertwine, none more compelling than that of Azzam and his family. Escaping persecution in Iraq in 2014, Azzam embarked on a journey marked by hardship and loss yet buoyed by the unwavering strength of familial bonds.

“In those trying times, every member of our community became family,” Azzam recalls, his voice tinged with nostalgia and gratitude.

“We faced the streets with no home, but in each other, we found solace and support.”

For four years, Azzam, his wife, and their eleven children sought refuge in Turkey alongside thousands of others from their community. It was a period fraught with uncertainty, yet amidst the chaos, their bond only grew stronger.

In 2019, Australia became their new home, offering a glimmer of hope amidst the darkness. Yet, the journey was not without its challenges. One of Azzam’s children remains unfound, a painful reminder of the sacrifices made in pursuit of freedom and safety.

“When there is respect between us, that’s where the strength lies,” Azzam reflects, his words echoing the importance of unity and mutual support within his family. It’s a sentiment mirrored in the unique camaraderie that binds their community together, a testament to the resilience forged through shared experiences.

Despite the miles that separate them, Azzam remains steadfast in his commitment to supporting family and friends overseas, both emotionally and financially. His generosity extends beyond borders, reflected in the joy he finds in cooking and sharing meals with neighbors, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie.

“After experiencing the loss of a loved one, we come together,” Azzam shares, his voice tinged with sorrow. “In grief, we find strength in our collective unity, in the support of those who share our pain.”

When asked about the key to a happy family, Azzam’s smile is bright with optimism. “When everyone agrees in the family, it’s a good day,” he says, his words a testament to the power of harmony and understanding within the familial unit.

As Refugee Week unfolds, Azzam’s story stands as a testament to the resilience, love, and solidarity that define refugee families. It’s a celebration of the bonds that transcend borders and adversity, of the strength found in unity, and the unwavering hope for a brighter tomorrow.

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