Refugee Week Celebrations 2016 Ghada Al Hussein


Ghada was born in Syria.

“Before the war we had a nice and quiet life. When the war started everything became different. We were refugees inside Syria.”

Ghada and her family spent seven months moving from one place to another and her children were unable to attend school. Eventually the family moved back into their home but it was impossible to live because there was no food, water or electricity.

The bombing was constant. One day the family were hiding under their house and Ghada’s husband, Ahmad went outside to find water.

“My children and I heard a different sound, very loud and from a plane. This time the bomb come to our house.”

Ahmad was hit in the back by shrapnel. The shrapnel entered his back and hit his stomach and leg. Ahmad was badly injured and there was no medical help available. When he could walk, the family travelled to Lebanon.

“We walked between the mountains for three days with many children, old people and people with disabilities.”

In Lebanon the family lived in a tent for three months then they were able to rent a one room flat. Life was very difficult. Ahmad was in bed for one year as he could not stand or walk. After many operations, he started to use a wheelchair.

The United Nations helped the family with their rent and paid for Ahmad’s health care.

“I won’t forget first the time at Sydney Airport, when we heard ‘Welcome to Australia’. We got a new life. I want to thank the government who helped us in all aspects of this new life.”

Ghada’s children are now back in school and doing very well.

Ghada and Ahmad are both studying English in the Adult Migrant English Program* at TAFE Illawarra.


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