Toowoomba teen talks about time as refugee

REFUGEE Week has inspired Harristown State High School Year 9 student Rahila Abdul Hadi to speak about the long, harrowing journey to a peaceful life in Toowoomba.

History, English, maths and art are all Rahila's favourite subjects. The 15-year-old enjoys going to school to learn. However life wasn't always this easy.

Rahila's family is from Afghanistan but she was born in a refugee area in Pakistan, where she lived for more than 10 years.

"It was good but there was lots of fighting and bombs and that's why we came here," she said.

"When I first came to Toowoomba I thought it was a jungle because there were lots of trees."

BRIGHT FUTURE: Harristown State High School Year 9 student, Rahila Abdul Hadi, 15.
BRIGHT FUTURE: Harristown State High School Year 9 student, Rahila Abdul Hadi, 15. Bev Lacey

Rahila has lived here for two years.

She is proud of her heritage and loves thinking about what her future could be. At the moment she is deciding between police work, journalism and art. She also wants to travel the world one day.

Rahila lives her life by the words of a famous Nelson Mandela quote, which ends in "for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite".

To help mark Refugee Week 2016, the Toowoomba City Library will screen refugee success film Freedom Stories tomorrow night.

Doors open at 6.30pm and entry is a gold coin donation.


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