Villawood 11a - Seeking Refuge in Invaded Lands


Seeking Refuge from Invaded Lands

Ahmed Obeid Al-Akabi was a husband and father of three daughters. Before his departure from Iraq, he reportedly worked as a teacher and truck driver. He was living in Karbala, a city considered to be holy for Shia Muslims, which is located in Southern Iraq.

The Iraq War began in 2003 when a US-led coalition, including Australia invaded the country. The fall of Saddam Hussein was followed by conflict for much of the next decade. Sectarian violence increased, the brunt of which was borne by members of the Shia minority.

As a result of the violence and increasing civilian casualties, the number of people seeking asylum from Iraq increased dramatically. Even today, Iraq remains unstable and ongoing conflict is displacing tens of thousands of people.

‘He was always on the move, as I told you – he moved a lot – he wanted to find a place where he could feel safe, where he received no threats.’

Houda Mohammad Saleh (Ahmed Al-Akabi’s wife)


A map locating the city of Karbala in Iraq.



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