“In Syria, I was a human rights activist and feminist, screenwriter and author. I started my activism from an early age. We lived under a dictatorship, with no freedom of speech or political freedom. In particular, life in Syria was very difficult for women.
When the peaceful uprising began in March 2011, I was part of it. We sought democracy, freedom, and human rights. I had to flee the country in less than a year with my children because I became wanted by the regime. I spent 3 years in Jordan, working with refugees and international human rights organisations documenting what was happening in Syria. I was a spokesperson for the media about what was happening in Syria, giving a voice to those who were voiceless. Soon it didn’t feel safe to stay, even in Jordan, and I sought to come to Australia with my two children.
In Australia, I studied counselling. I worked with refugees for five years in a settlement agency as a case worker, then as a community engagement and development officer, and then I started working at QPASTT. I want to support refugees, to give back to society and to continue to advocate for human rights.
My motivation for being a human rights activist has always been the pursuit of justice.”
“Justice means freedom, equality and dignity. Without justice, humanity would disappear.”
“Without justice and human rights, we can’t feel safe. Justice gives us the freedom to feel safe and to dream.
If people don’t experience justice, they will never be able to belong. You can’t belong to any place or any society if you feel like you don’t have the same rights as others and if you are not treated as a human being.
Without justice, people are scared and unsafe and they need to spend all their time and energy trying to protect themselves and their families.
Justice means dignity; people feel like they have the same rights and opportunities as anyone else. We have the same rights under the law and in society.
Without justice, we can’t fly, we can’t dream, we can’t think.
Australia is considered a first world country, but there is more to be done so that everyone has the same rights, freedoms, dignity and opportunity, particularly for First Nations people and people seeking asylum.
When a person is subject to torture, they lose their feeling of dignity. They lose the feeling of being valid. QPASTT’s work supporting the recovery journey of people who have been subject to torture and trauma is very important because it gives someone back the feeling of safety and respect.”