Now available as an ebook!
This book is timely, given the confusion in Australian policy regarding the so-called illegal refugees. Mark Blows, Clinical Psychologist
An educated girl from a prosperous family in Iraq finds her world turned upside down by circumstances arising from the brutal regime of Saddam Hussein. With her young husband she flees first to Iran, then Turkey, experiencing the humiliation, discomfort and powerlessness of being a refugee.
Ibtihal gives birth to a baby boy, lives in a tiny hut with no electricity or running water, tries to protect her baby from hungry rats, and attempts again and again to get approval from the UN to migrate. After years of hardship and persistence, Ibtihal and her small family arrive in Australia, where her youthful ambition leads her to study and later teach art as therapy for trauma.
The book includes photos of the author’s story and art work.
“Refugee to Resident captures the indignity and hopelessness associated with being a refugee, but also the indomitable spirit of which humans are capable, even when suffering extreme duress. I challenge anyone, whatever their current views might be, to read this story and remain unchanged.” Professor Terry Lovat, The University of Newcastle, Australia
“Refugee to Resident is a humanist plea for understanding the plight, the frustrations, the misunderstanding and the lack of sympathy given to refugees from all over the world.” Bruce McCalmont, Senior Lecturer TAFE
About the author: Dr Ibtihal Samarayi is a Visual Art Lecturer & Coordinator, and Research Academic at The University of Newcastle.
I picked up your book last night and started reading and kept on till 10 pm when I finished it – I will have to go back and re-read certain sections again as I was probably reading too fast. Ibtihal, it is hard to put into words all the emotions and feelings I had reading your words – your book is beautifully written, so honest and open I felt I could see each stage, each scene that you described. You brought alive so simply the momentous and perilous journey of a refugee, but you and Sadraddin and many others you mentioned had such dignity and integrity, kindness and optimism, you are to be honoured.
And for you to build on your experiences to help others and to make artworks that others can engage with, to use what happened to you in such a positive way, you are inspirational.
We are honoured that you and your family live in Australia, we are in your debt. And to me you are an Iraqi who lives in Australia, I don’t agree with this notion that everyone has to be an Australian, to somehow renounce or push away their past and heritage.
Now available as an ebook! $9.99