Afghan refugee Najeeba Wazefadost © Copyright
Hamish Gregory

Najeeba’s story
23 April 2012, 01:12AM




Leaving your country for good is one of the hardest decisions a person can be
forced to make.
It means a break with all that you know - your family, your livelihood, your friends, how to fit
in, how to be part of a society - all the familiar sights and sounds and smells and tastes.
My name is Najeeba Wazefadost and I am a refugee from Afghanistan. I came to Australia
with my family by boat in September 2000.
I was born in a country that is shattered after decades of war that has left little sign of justice,
humanity and freedom. People like me who were born into a minority ethnic group (Hazara)
are subjected to discrimination and slavery at the hands of the majority ethnic groups.

My childhood was stolen: I don’t have good memories with other children, instead I
remember being afraid; I remember persecution and death.
Hazaras have been persecuted ever since the ‘Hazara Wars’ of 1891-1893. There is no one
single cause, reasons are both ethnic and sectarian, but Hazaras still face massacres by
officials and warlords in Afghanistan.
We came to Australia to find a home where
we would be safe. We also wanted to belong
- to stop being an asylum seeker or a
refugee and once again have the value and
rights of a citizen.
Asylum seekers carry sorrow and distress
and depend on human sympathy. An
asylum seeker is a kneeling person;
kneeling in front of the captain of the ship
to ask for a reduced escape price; kneeling
in front of the aid agency asking to be

"Look at these people from a
human point of view, with mercy,
not from the political point of view,
with power."
Afghan refugee Najeeba
Wazefadost appealing to
Australian politicians

They get on a boat, on a piece of wood, not knowing where its taking them; their safety and
security limited to that piece of wood, risking starving or drowning at...