By Khaled Elomar
I reflect on my childhood in a war-torn country (Lebanon). The absence of hope, security and prosperity. The instability of rule and governance. The limited education that any child or adolescent is exposed to, if they are lucky to be exposed to any of it at all.
Then I see where I am now. The smorgasbord of unlimited education and work opportunities placed before me to pick and choose from. The voice and tone given to me to speak out against politicians irrespective of party inclination, to be able to speak out against racism and bigotry.
Things that I could only dream about back home are factual and within an arm’s reach in this country.
I make this urgent plea to my fellow Australians: don’t let fools such as Avi Yemeni, Pauline Hanson and others, make you think we, migrant refugees, are here to destroy this great country. On the contrary, we are forever thankful and appreciative. We will defend this country because we would never want our kids to live the life we did back in our homeland.
I used to hear and feel the whistling sound, vibration and impact of missiles whilst looking into my teachers’ eyes and wonder if this was the last face I would see before taking along endless sleep. I would never wish that feeling and experience on anyone, including my worst enemies. So why would I, a proud Australian Muslim, a proud migrant refugee, the son of one of the greatest men to have ever lived, want to bite the hand that feeds me?
We appreciate this country as much, if not more, than any born Australian and we pay an unreserved respect to the true owners of this great land for allowing us to live here. I love my homeland for it made me a resilient human. I love My Australia, for it kept me a resilient human.