Refugee Week
Three women and a young girl, with woman in middle wearing black smiling to camera

Emee’s Story

Emile and her six daughters escaped Iraq in 2014 after ISIS ravaged the northern parts of Iraq and Syria. They are part of the Yazidi community, a minority religious group who have lived in Iraq for nearly 6,000 years. ISIS targeted Yazidis, and this community quickly became one of the region’s most vulnerable groups.

In 2014 the situation had become dire, with women and girls being enslaved.

“We knew many of the women who were taken, and we did not know if they were coming back,” Emile told us.

For Emile and her daughters, Australia became a haven. “We feel very lucky to have escaped. It’s not a time we like to think about too much.

We have many friends here who are like family. My daughters are now thriving, and we do not have to live in fear.

Many Yazidis resettled in Toowoomba after Australia introduced measures to assist the minority group. Emile and her daughter often get together with other members in the community for gatherings and celebrations. The Yazidi community in Toowoomba is largely made up of women, as many families sent their sons from Iraq to Germany, where they were given passage and remain until today.

Emile and her daughters are part of a large network of women in Toowoomba – their chosen family.

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