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25 Jun 2015

News

Refugee Week: meet mother Faten

Former refugee Faten has embraced, and been embraced by, Australia.

“There is no special treatment for people with a disability in Iraq,” she said through an interpreter.

Faten also spoke about other Australian systems and ways of life that she is impressed with.

“Education is at a very low level over there,” she said. “There is corruption and sometimes you have to pay the teachers to get children their certificates.

“When a woman goes to a local government office to access services, some ask for sexual favours in order to deliver services to her.

“There is discrimination against Christians and other non-mainstream religions in Iraq, especially when it comes to employment.”

Once, Faten recalls, she went to withdraw her elderly mother’s money from the bank and was abused because of her religion. Then the family’s house was taken from them.

“In Australia, it is different to all of this,” Faten said. “Here there is equality between men and women.”

Faten had many positive things to say about Australia’s systems of education and government. 

“And they support me to look after my two brothers with disability and my old mother.”

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