Hope for Haider in his new Ballarat home

June 12, 2012

Refugee Haider Ali Hazara is building a new life, starting in Ballarat. Picture: Lachlan Bence

Refugee Haider Ali Hazara is building a new life, starting in Ballarat. Picture: Lachlan Bence

YEARS of political debate and misinformation about the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in Australia hasn’t soured the optimism of Haider Ali Hazara.

The 19-year-old Afghani, who has lived in Ballarat since September, said Australians were welcoming and accepting of refugees.

“Most Australians are quite happy with asylum seekers in the community I think,” he said.

“They are interested to find out where we have come from and how we made it to a place like Ballarat.”

Cared for by the Ballarat refugee Circle of Friends organisation, Haider encouraged the community to take part in Refugee Week events beginning on Sunday.

During a harrowing six-month journey from his homeland to freedom, Haider escaped an Indonesian detention facility with 20 other asylum seekers.

He travelled from Pakistan to Thailand by plane, then by bus to Malaysia and via boat to Christmas Island from Indonesia.

“I was in detention for two months but we escaped back to Jakarta from Bali by driving for 20 hours,” he said.

Now enrolled in an automotive pre-apprenticeship program at the University of Ballarat, Haider said people were often surprised to learnhow he made it to Australia.

National Refugee Week will feature the 20 Years Too Long march on Sunday.

Participants can meet at the Ballarat Train Station at 9.10am for the 9.17am train to Southern Cross.

For more information on the Ballarat Circle of Friends, contact 5332 3414.

Source: http://www.thecourier.com.au/news/local/news/general/hope-for-haider-in-his-new-ballarat-home/2588614.aspx?src=rss

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4 Comments

Filed under Human Rights and Refugee Activists, Life after detention

4 responses to “Hope for Haider in his new Ballarat home

  1. Carolyn Dominish

    Peace, Happiness and Welcome to Haidar!

  2. Ali

    Me and haidar come here in a same boat hope to see you again. Best of luck HAIDAR

  3. I have worked with Haidar in his settlement and my husband and I have befriended him. He (and his fellow Hazara asylum seekers and refugee friends) is a great inspiration. The optimism, gracious nature, and love for our community that he openly presents is a true credit to him and I am sure he will make a great contribution to any place he choses to live in his life. We certainly hope he\’ll choose to stay in Ballarat where he can break down barriers of attitudes that uneducated people have about the Asylum seekers plight and continue to grow as a valuable community member! Great work Haidar!

  4. Pingback: Budget day, volunteer week and my Mum | MsLods

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