Bishra

A muslim woman

I arrived in Australia with my sister, Asmahan, and her three children in 2012, through the United Nations’ High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). My sister was widowed during the Iraq war.  We fled Iraq and lived in Syria and Jordan before being resettled in Australia.

I am single and I am helping my sister to raise her three children.  I am extremely happy to be living in Australia and very proud to be in this country. Australia has given us peace, education and many things that our country could not offer us.

Australia’s safety is in my prayers constantly.  Australia is like a mother who cares for and loves her children. It is a fair country - the government and the organisations treat us equally and make us feel valued and protected, like parents protecting their children. The help that I have received as a refugee in Australia has been invaluable. The only occasions where I have struggled have been in communication with health professionals. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having interpreters to be able to understand doctors in hospitals or medical specialists.

For me, it is very important to hear the messages that are coming from the Australian government about Muslims. I am grateful for the efforts to present positive images of Muslims that reflect my own experience and understanding of my religion as a religion of peace.