Refugee Week Celebrations 2016 Samira Al Salamat


“I was born in Syria.”

Samira has nine sisters and three brothers and one of her brothers is her twin.

Samira had a very happy life in Syria, all the children in her family went to school each day. When she was 15 years old, Samira’s mother died and soon after her father died too. She married Bilal when she was 20 and had four children; two girls and two boys.

When the war began in Syria, the family house was bombed. They were very afraid and they made a decision to travel to Lebanon. The family met people who helped them and they were able to live in Lebanon for three years.

“Abo Ali and Om Ali were like a mother and father to me, they let me and my family live rent free for three years.”

Samira, Bilal and their family travelled back to Syria when they had to renew their travel cards.

“When we returned to Syria, the police took my husband because he is from the city of Darra. I came back to Lebanon with my children and asked my God that my husband get out of prison. My God answered me, and my husband got out of prison after four months.”

Bilal had been tortured while he was in prison and was very sick. The family then contacted the United Nations in order to travel to Australia.

“We were very happy with the news that we would be coming to Australia. We came to Australia, this beautiful country. It was a beautiful feeling when we got here. It is very safe to live here.”

Samira and Bilal are both students at TAFE Illawarra in the Adult Migrant English Program*.

“I am learning the English language, this is a wish I have had since childhood. I have got my wish.”

“Thank you to all the teachers and all the people from Australia and those from the Australian Government.”


*The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training.