In honour of World Refugee Day, we’re celebrating the strength and courage of one of our very own Prosthetic Technician, Samer Zakhour, and one of our clients, Linda. They share their story as refugees from Syria, and how being at the same place at the same time allowed them to reconnect years later in Australia.
Samer first met Linda in Syria as her prosthetist, treating her through the Syrian civil war. They both dreamt of a new life, searching for safety and a better future for their families away from the war. Although they lived separate lives and had their own families, their experience arriving to Australia in 2016 were quite similar. Learning to live and adapt to life in a different country was a big challenge. From learning English to learning to do an everyday activity like catching a bus, everything felt like a new experience.
When Samer first arrived in Australia, he found a place to live and shortly after started a TAFE course. How comforting it was to see Linda, a familiar face in a completely new environment. Here, they sat at the same table, in the same class and reconnected. They were grateful for the opportunity to study and learn English, see their families happy, play the sports they enjoy and live a life they dreamed of.
Linda invited Samer to attend her next appointment at APC. It was on this day that Samer was introduced to the APC Team, showing his portfolio and discussing his passion for the industry having worked in Syria as a Prosthetic Technician for more than 13 years. The familiar smell of resin in the workshop felt like home to Samer. It was through these series of events that he was offered a 3-month contract at APC, which very quickly turned into a full-time permanent role. APC is proud to have Samer as part of the Team, he takes great pride in all his work and loves to see the smile on his client’s faces when they receive their new prosthesis.
Today, Samer enjoys his new adventures and freedom in Australia. He loves to go camping with his kids and is enjoying his hobbies like playing the pan flute and drums. Linda was able to receive a prosthetic arm with government assistance. She’s currently a stay-at-home mum of 2 daughters, loves spending time with her family, and attends church where she enjoys organising the choir.
Both Sam and Linda will test to get their citizenships later this year. They feel like true Australians and are grateful to call Australia their home.
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