Family settles in Fairfield after fleeing ISIS

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Rita RizkFairfield Advance
The small Assyrian family are looking forward to a bigger and brighter future for the sake of their two children.
FROM ?bombs and chaos to peace and security, the Tchaba family are grateful to now call Fairfield home after escaping ISIS who took over their village in Syria.
The Assyrian family of four arrived in Australia on November 16 under an existing humanitarian settlement program.

The family are not part of the group of 12,000 Syrian refugees who are due to resettle in Australia.

Zaki and his wife Fadia fled Syria with their children in 2013 after the ­Islamic group captured and took control of their small village, Kabur, in the country’s north.

Zaki Tchaba and wife Fadia Adam with their children Sargon, 2, and Aylona, 6 months, will be spending their first Christmas in Australia.

They sought refuge in the neighbouring country Lebanon before finally being permitted to travel to Australia.

Zaki Tchaba said he felt blessed to be able to give Fadia and their two children, aged two and six months, a second chance at life in Australia.

“It still feels like a dream, it’s really hard to take in where we were and where we are now,” he said.

“As soon as we arrived here, we were shocked for five days. It took us that long to realise we are in Australia now.”

The Tchaba family say this is the first time in a long time they feel safe and secure.

He said for the first time in a long time they finally felt happy and safe.

Mrs Tchaba said their journey was a long and difficult process which drained them physically and emotionally.

She said while they miss their home, they are looking forward to new beginnings and spending their first Christmas in Fairfield.

“Our heart is still in Syria because we left by force not by choice,” she said.

“But we are now here and we thank God for that. We are blessed to be able to ­arrive before Christmas and hope for many more to come.”

The Tchabas had been school teachers in Syria and hope to eventually go back to teaching.

Although they now need to start from the bottom, they are excited to start their English course next year, study at TAFE and eventually university to get their Australian qualifications.

Zaki Tchaba and partner Fadia Adam and their children Sargon 1, and Aylona 7 months, will be spending their first Christmas in Australia.
Zaki Tchaba says he would never wish for his enemy to feel the devastation and atrocities of the war.

The Tchabas lived in on e of 24 peaceful Assyrian villages which they described had been burnt down to the ground.

Mr Tchaba said they used to all live happily and peacefully before the war instilled paranoia and fear into everyone.

He said ISIS militants would walk around the village dressed in their black clothes and carry their big guns trying to intimidate all the locals.

Mrs Tchaba said all they want for Christmas is peace to the world and freedom to the prosecuted.