Days full of music and joy

I came to Australia with my family in March 2015, so I have been here for two years. We are sorry that we had to come here as refugees, but we feel very lucky to be able to come here.  We are really grateful to the people of Australia for accepting us and for their kindness and generosity.  It is beautiful to experience the kindness of people. The big problem for us is that at the moment we feel alone – we miss our cousins and our friends. 

But you can’t compare the country you come from with a new country. The country of your origin is always in your heart.  You can’t forget it. The bad memories and the sweet memories will be with you wherever you go. But we hope to build some new sweet memories here in Australia. 

Some of the sweetest memories I have of my life in Syria are related to music. My brother Fadi is a singer and I often sing with him. In Syria, friends would often come to visit and we would jam together. It was a very spontaneous thing. We would go out together without planning anything. Just go out and we would sing in the car, wherever we were. We had some wonderful times together. They were full of joy and music. In some ways it was a simple life and it didn’t cost us anything. But I think it will be very hard to find that life here. So of course we miss that. 

Zeina Haddad, Melbourne, March 2017

Photographer: Jacqueline Mitelman

From ‘Beloved Syria – Considering Syrian Perspectives’, September 2017

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