My story started in Iraq, in a little village called Qaraqosh where I was born in 2004. Life was peaceful. However, in 2014, everything changed. Isis gangs wanted to kill all the Christian people in Qaraqosh.
If we didn’t change our religion to Muslim, we would have to pay money to remain Christian. This was such a bad time for people in Qaraqosh.
On 6 August 2014, we heard bombs exploding nearby. Dad knew that the Isis gangs had entered our village because the army soldiers had run away. We had no choice, if we wanted to survive then we must run. My family ran into Erbil, the only safe city in Iraq. From there we travelled to Jordan.
People from an organization called Caritas Jordan welcomed us when we arrived in Jordan. They helped us get some food and clothes and a place to live. We had to live with ten other families at the same place but I thank God that we were safe. The Caritas people were very kind, trying to make us forget the pain of leaving our families and friends in Iraq. There were some teachers from Caritas coming to help the children to learn English.
A year and seven months later, my family had a call from Australian Immigration. Our visa was ready to go to Australia. We first came to Australia on the 26th of April 2016. After one week in Wollongong, we came to Melbourne because we had family here and it was important for my family to be near a Chaldean church.
Today, I feel so lucky because I’m living with my family peacefully, free to practise my faith. My dream is to go to university and become an author. The life I have now would not have been possible without the wonderful people of Caritas. They are real justice heroes and I will never forget them.
This is not the end of my story, it’s just the beginning.
YJA 2017 Junior Section Winner, Sarah Sona, St Dominic’s PS, Broadmeadows, VIC.