Hope in story of Afghan migrant loss

jawednoori1As a boy, Flinders final-year medical student Jawed Noori was used to the regular bus trip from the family’s temporary home in rural Afghanistan to Kabul.

His family had fled the capital in 1994, when Jawed was eight, to escape the random acts of violence and destruction of warring ethnic groups which cost the lives of many thousands of Afghan civilians.

It was during one of these trips that his father was taken off the bus by unidentified gunmen and shot dead.

“We didn’t find his body for 18 days,” Jawed told Flinders Journal.

As if this was not devastating enough, soon after, Jawed’s 11-year-old brother and two year old sister died of diseases which could have been treated with simple medical therapy in any other country.

Jawed’s mother, pregnant with twins at the time of her husband’s murder, gave birth to a girl and boy. The boy only survived one year.

Jawed along with his family fled to Pakistan as refugees, like the two million other Afghans at the time.

“Mine is not an unusual story. I know many people who have lost everything and are still living in refugee camps where the conditions are horrible and there’s no real future,” Jawed said.

He considers himself “lucky” because he had family in Australia who sponsored him and his family, however, this process took two years and a lot of borrowed money without which it would have been impossible to complete the requirements of the application process.

Jawed, who had had only two years of schooling and no English at all, started school in Australia at Year 6. “I set myself a goal: I wanted to make the most of the opportunity, of this second chance at life,” he said.

He worked as a delivery boy in a pharmacy while at school, and remained committed to his studies.

“Life was getting a little bit better for us but, unable to adjust and come to terms with her losses, Mum developed a chronic mental Illness,” he said.

At the end of Year 12, Jawed graduated with Dux of his school with a near perfect score in English. He went on to complete a Bachelor of Biomedical Science degree at the University of Melbourne before coming to Flinders in 2007 to study medicine.

He’ll return to Melbourne next year as an intern.

“I have a passion for surgery and I hope to follow through and become an Orthopaedic Surgeon,” he said.

But he lives every day with the memories of life in Afghanistan and the difficulties of those who continue to suffer from the horrors of war and the misery it brings upon a civilian population.

“You can never forget who you are. The positive thing is that it gives you the strength to try to make the most of what you have left.”

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0 thoughts on “Hope in story of Afghan migrant loss

  1. Jawed jan, I am as one of your Afghan fellows proud of you and wish you a very good luck with your studies and career. I am sure you will be a proud to Afghanistan and Afghans. Don’t ever let the obstacles that you have been through stop you, let them be an inspirational force in your career.

    Good luck,


  2. very touchy….but remember there is always bright sun rise after dark night…..god bless you..i wish u will become very successful orthopedic surgeon

  3. Jawed I wish you all the best of luck with your studies and I hope your story will be an inspiration to other students.

  4. Alhumdulillah that you found freedom from this oppression and struggle and have been given opportunity in Australia to make good of your life and help others.
    May your mother find strength and your family have success in this life and the next Insha’Allah.
    I pray for these conflicts in the world to find a conclusion of peace and unity soon for the sake of our children and for our faith, Insha’Allah.

  5. Such a lovely inspiring storey. You do your family and your country proud. Afghanis have always had a great reputation as ‘fighters’. You show this to be true. May you inspire those you come in contact with.

  6. very proud of you Jawed jan.. I am also studying in flinders, its my second year of Medical Science and have my hopes high as u
    wish u best of luck
    take care

  7. Dear Jawed,

    I admire your strength of mind and purpose to have lived through what you have and to have had the resolve to accomplish such impressive academic achievements. You will have made your family very proud and Flinders should be proud to have been a part of your journey. May you continue to experience the rewards of your hard work and may your mother recover some joy with the hope your efforts will have inspired.

  8. I’m so proud of you Jawed!
    you definitely deserve all the happiness in the world, you worked very hard to be where you are now!

  9. Jawed, your life is an amazing journey so far. Maybe one day you can write your autobiography in a book, to help people living in Australia to understand that we live in a land of opportunity, and if you work hard, believe in yourself, and overcome obstacles, anything is possible. The past is dark, and cannot be changed, but use it as a measuring stick to see how far you’ve come, and how much you’ve learned about yourself and life along the way, and grown stronger, so you can celebrate all that you’ve achieved.

  10. Hi Jawed,

    As a recently employed lawyer I write submissions for many Afghani protection & refugee visas. If you have anymore info on people who have escaped the turmoil in Afghanistan especially about the Hazaras I can sure use it to supplement some of the submissions.

    Congrats and am happy that you have found a safe place to live freely.

    Kind regards


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