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Stories from the Middle East

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177 Nations of Tasmania
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Personal stories from people born in the countries of the Middle East now living in Tasmania Continue Reading >> Personal stories from people born in the countries of the Middle East now living in Tasmania << Show Less
Kadir from Turkey : Starting from scratch in Tassie Kadir was born in a small city between Ankara and Cappadocia in Turkey. He arrived in Hobart 19 years ago, the hometown of his wife at the time., who he had met while they were both volunteering in England. Kadir was a qualified physiotherapist, but faced a hard struggle to get his qualifications recognised and like many new migrants, he had to start life all over again. After years of study and then jobs in restaurants and a bakery, Kadir got a position as an interpreter at Centrelink, where he still works.
I talked to Kadir about his experiences as a migrant from Turkey to Tasmania, the challenges and the cultural contrasts that he has observed.
Nicolas : Born in Palestine brought up in Chile and finding a new home in Tasmania Nicolas was born in a small majority Christian town in Palestine, but when he was 2 his family left for Chile, where they had long-standing family connections. In fact, migration from Palestine to Chile has a history going back to the 1920s. Although the family settled with in Santiago, Nicolas never felt like it was quite home, and as an adult returned to Palestine to reunite with family and to work. But it didn't quite work out as expected and Nicolas headed back to Chile to work in the family's restaurant business. From talking to an uncle who lived there, Nicolas decided to try his luck in Australia, eventually studying engineering in Tasmania.
Melika from Iran : Even Covid-19 can't break a love affair with Tasmania Melika and her husband came to Tasmania in what proved to be the most challenging time imaginable – 3 weeks before Covid-19 hit Australia fully and the international and state borders were slammed shut. Neither of them had a job and wear very worried that finding work was going to be very challenging. Things worked out for Melika, finding work within a month, but were much more challenging for her husband, who after many months of trying without success, eventually got an IT job in Adelaide.
Melika, who is from Tehran, is a qualified architect, a job she dreamed of doing from a young age. She had wanted to emigrate, though her husband was reluctant, but when researching Tasmania and seeing pictures online she fell in love with the place and persuaded her husband that they had to come her and give it a go. In the mean time, as you will here, Melika has embraced the beauty of Tasmania's nature, becoming something of a "tree-hugger".
Iran is a country about which many Australians have misconceptions, and you can hardly blame them with regularly negative news about Iran in the media. With a growing Iranian population in Tasmania, it's important to know that there are a lot more sides to Iran, it's people and it's ancient culture. Though Melika's is but one of many many stories, I hope that it will make people see that there is another side to Iran and one should always question one's preconceived ideas about a place and its people.
Adel : Born in Baghdad, spirit in Palestine, living in Tasmania Adel was born in and grew up in Baghdad to an Iraqi mother and father who was a refugee from Palestine. In this episode Adel talks about his formative experiences growing up in Baghdad and then at school in Birmingham and the things that influenced his later life.
Adel studied Agronomy at Baghdad University and after making his way illicitly across the border to Jordan during the first Gulf War, he was eventually able to use this degree to gain a skilled visa to Australia. Starting a new life In Australia wasn't always easy, but Adel would eventually succeed in gaining a Ph.d in Food Science and is now a Senior Lecturer at the University of Tasmania.
He also describes his experience of going to Palestine, and searching for his father's home village, which had been erased years before by Israeli settlers, and his ongoing advocacy for justice for the Palestinian people.
It's a story with both dark and light moments, and just a little romance and even former AFL football coach and broadcaster comes into the story..

Music : "Ibn Al-Noor" Kevin MacLeod (
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