April 16, 2013
Ibrar Hussain Rajabi Source: Supplied
FAMILIES of three teenagers who boarded an asylum boat in Indonesia for a better life in Australia – but who are feared lost at sea – are still hopeful their boys will be found alive.
At 11pm on Thursday the three Hazara teens boarded a boat carrying 72 asylum seekers. Within hours the vessel had sunk. Only 14 survivors were plucked from the dangerous waters near the Sunda Strait south of Indonesia.
Ibrar Hussain Rajabi, 17, had lost his father and brother when they were murdered, and it was his mother who wanted her son to escape to a better place.
Ibrar’s family friend Hassan Rezai said from his home in North Carolina in the US the teenager had lost his father to the Taliban and his brother was murdered on the Iranian border 18 months ago.
The pair had spoken online early last week, he said.
“He was excited, he was happy. He was telling me ‘If I reach Australia my future will be bright, I will save my family’,” Mr Rezai said.
His distraught mother had wanted him to have a new life in Australia, Mr Rezai said.
Rehmatullah Muhammad Jan
Mahdi Fidayee, 16, left his accommodation in Indonesia on Wednesday and called his family on Thursday night to tell them he was “now on the sea” and headed to Australia.
His cousin in Perth, Ali Mohammad Fidayee, said the next call his family received was from a friend who said “14 passengers, mostly friends, were rescued by fisherman but Mahdi was not one of them”.
Mr Fidayee, who said he was “disappointed” by Indonesia’s limited efforts to find the stricken vessel, said his cousin had wanted a life of “freedom” in Australia.
Rehmatullah Muhammad Jan, a Hazara whose family is in Quetta, Pakistan, told relative Mehdi Fabre he was excited about reaching Australia.
“He was in search of freedom. He was in search of peace. He was in search of a better life,” Mr Fabre said.
The teenager, who has two sisters and a brother, last spoke to family on Wednesday morning and had spent almost three weeks in Indonesia waiting for a vessel.
The relatives and friends of the teenagers said they had been disappointed by Indonesia’s search efforts. There have been reports a second vessel may have capsized last Wednesday, also close to Indonesia.