Civil engineer and lecturer Abdulmaseeh Feryou escaped Iraq in August 2014 when Islamic State (ISIS) forces invaded his city of Qaraqosh. The entire Syriac Christian population, over 120,000 people, fled to nearby Erbil in Iraqi Kurdistan. After several terrible journeys, he and his family found sanctuary in a Syrian refugee camp and were ultimately granted asylum in Australia.
He grieves for the loss of a way of life and the ancient culture of Iraq; recalling that Christians and Muslims served together amicably during his compulsory national service with the Iraqi armed forces.…
we live for our children. We like peace. We like working. We love our families, our jobs. We’re very sincere to our country and love it till now, regardless what we suffer… but never, never, never we could think that something like that will happen to Iraq, and that was the main [reason] that [we] fled. We couldn’t stay in these circumstances - it’s not for human beings.
Abdulmaseeh values the new life he and his daughters have found in Australia.
For a man, who all he wants from life is to work and grow and be happy and make others happy, peace is very, very important.
Reproduced courtesy of Susan Gordon Brown
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Yasser and his family were in the last government-controlled part of Syria and remained in Aleppo, under bombardment, for two years. In 2016 they were granted refugee status in Australia.
Reviewed 24 April 2023