Fairfield Mother of three, Ghaydaa Ajja, wants to bring her brother and nieces to Australia.
Twelve thousand refugee places. 12,000 stories of fear and terror. 12,000 chances at a new life.
Fairfield mother of three Ghaydaa Ajja, 36, is hoping desperately her brother, Moshtak Anwar, 40, and her two nieces, aged 7 and 5, will be among them.
Moshtak and his children, Assyrian refugees from Iraq, are sheltering in Lebanon after Mrs Ajja’s sister-in-law, Thred, was dragged from her car, raped and shot by Islamic militants.
“She was very beautiful,” Mrs Ajja said. “She was so honest and a very kind person. She was really happy with my brother.”
Thred and Moshtak had fled with their children to Lebanon after IS militants entered their village and demanded they pay a ransom, convert to Islam or be killed.
The threats were the latest in a series of ever tightening rules forced on the Assyrian population, among which were requirements that women wear hijabs and hide crucifix necklaces and pendants.
But Moshtak’s father remained in Iraq and in July sent word that he was gravely ill.
After his father begged to see them one last time, Moshtak and Thred decided to try and brave the militants to visit him.
Sadly, as they drove to Baghdad, Moshtak and Thred’s car was stopped by armed men who demanded money.
When the couple said they had none, they took Thred away. Three days later her body was found by police.
“I can’t believe how they are suffering,” Mrs Ajja said. “I am really worried about the girls — their safety and future.”
Mrs Ajja and her husband Esam are beneficiaries of Australia’s humanitarian program, having fled Iraq for Australia in 2006.
They live in Fairfield and their children, a girl, 13, and two boys, aged 10 and 6, attend local schools.
Mrs Ajja is currently doing all she can to help her brother’s refugee application progress through the Australian immigration system. Her dream is to look after her nieces, as well as her own three children, while her brother works.
“As a Christian, I have hope that God will help me bring them to Australia,” she said. “We love Australia so much. It is so very nice and safe.”
“I hope other people will understand what Assyrians are going through by listening to my story.”
? Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) president Tony Hadchiti has spoken of the region’s preparedness to help potential refugees
? “Western Sydney is ready and willing to accommodate those Syrians seeking asylum in Australia as long as the resources are provided for us to undertake this task,” Mr Hadchiti said.