Photography (above): Doerte Fitschen-Rath / Studio DF6
Mina’s life as a victim of sexual and domestic abuse saw her flee Iran – but her life in a tent for three-and-a-half years in Nauru wasn’t much better, she says. Despite longing for Australia, Mina is determined to make a good life in the United States – but it’s a lonely start. She knows no-one, doesn’t drive, and is having difficulty finding a permanent job.
Within days of arriving in the United States, Mamudul signed up for adult learning classes. He hopes to earn a GED, the equivalent of a high-school diploma, before pursuing his dream of a career in IT. He was forced to abandon school aged 16, when he fled the military junta who have long persecuted the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar.
“When I got the tickets I started to think that 'this is happening'. I was elated,” Reza said. “It was an amazing feeling for everyone because we were thinking that our terrible time in Manus is finally going to be over.”
“People are busy here. They work. They are hopeful for the future,” he said of the United States. “This is very important and I love it. I will try hard for a better life.”