Story of Nazifa
Ms Nazifa Ali, a former refugee, fled Afghanistan with her husband and children after being victimised by the Taliban.
In Afghanistan, Nazifa was a psychologist and worked in a hospital. Nazifa recalled that "our hospital was a safeguard for many people, but soon it was not even a safe place for the doctors and myself". The Taliban targeted her workplace as they "were not happy with women having careers", therefore Nazifa had no choice but to leave.
The family fled to Pakistan by foot and in disguise, as the Afghani government "did not want the educated to flee for a better future". Ms Ali remembered walking for days with no shelter "in the hope of finding a better future in Pakistan". She said that the thought of "bringing our children a brighter future was enough motivation for us to keep going".
Their journey led them to Islamabad where they stayed at an Afghani refugee camp with no electricity or clean water. Escaping Afghanistan was one of the hardest decisions Ms Ali ever had to make, though she knew that her escape avoided the probability of being "shot by bullets or hung in public" by the Taliban, simply on the basis of being an educated and working woman.
Nazifa stated that their "goals in life were to always help the less fortunate", but they never thought that they'd be in such a position themselves. Nazifa tried for many years to legally enter Australia so that her children could live better lives, but it wasn’t until the eighth year of hard life in Pakistan that they were finally accepted into the country they now call home.
Whilst Nazifa acknowledges she was one of the lucky few refugees that had a chance for a second life, she always thinks about the majority "that live under the most difficult and daunting circumstances" in dangerous countries.
Nazifa's family now have careers and opportunities which she knows "would not have happened in Afghanistan". She thanks all Australians for sharing their land and for giving those less fortunate a future to look forward to.
Written by Amber Johanssen