By Lois Krake

Fatima felt the full brunt of Hussein's regime when her husband was thrown in jail twice for no reason.

After the second time, he decided to flee and came to Australia where he ended up in detention - a trip he never would have undertaken had he known the dangers.

To join him, Fatima had to get permission from her husband, something that was impossible with him already in Australia.

She ended up getting a fake husband who gave her permission to travel, and fled Iraq for Syria, arriving in Australia three long years after her husband had left.

She arrived with nothing.

Having to depend on others for housing and second-hand furniture was distressing, but within twelve months Fatima had learnt to drive a car and had discovered freedoms as a woman unknown in Iraq.

She found work as a teacher's aide, interpreter, and finally, as a multicultural worker where she now helps other new arrivals and acts as a community leader.

Her family, which now includes her youngest "Aussie" daughter Nooran, finds themselves changed and belonging as much to Australian society as they did to Iraqi life.

About the community contributors

Lois Krake is a passionate photographer and member of the Shepparton Camera Club.

It was here that she first found out about ABC Open when she participated in One on One: Change, creating a story about a local farmer turned politician. Lois has enjoyed getting to know Fatima and hopes that her story will help develop understanding of what it is like to be a Muslim refugee.

Lois agrees with Fatima; we are all the same no matter what our religion or colour of skin.

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