Since he was eight years old, Khadim Hussain has worked hard to make a life free of fear and persecution for himself and his family.
When Australian sailors plucked him from a rickety four-metre-long boat willing its way to Australia against the unforgiving waves of the Indian Ocean in 2012, he could see that life clearly, despite the tears in his eyes.
But seven years on, Khadim faces an uncertain future when his temporary protection visa expires in September.
Khadim was born in Afghanistan, where he lived until civil war broke out and the Taliban seized control of the country in 1992.
“When the civil war started, where we lived, our area is with the Taliban, we were living together door to door, but when they came into power, they started killing neighbours, there were kidnappings, people would disappear, so my father decided we would leave the area,“ he said.
“In Afghanistan there are two ethnic groups, the Taliban are against us Hazaras because of our religion, they are Sunni and we are Shi’a.
“If you walk in the streets, they know, without me telling them that I am Hazara, they can tell by my face, my eyes, our eyes are a little bit smaller, we don’t have a lot of hair on our face,” Khadim said.
See today’s Colac Herald for more.