St Augustine’s Parish, Bourke Street, Melbourne, and Media and Communications Office
Omar and his brother Saad Al-Kassab were Syrian Scouts who helped distribute food to refugees affected by the conflict in their own country. Then they became refugees themselves. Now they have a new life in Australia, and have learned English, resumed their studies, and rejoined Scouting.
Their story is moving, powerful and tragic, but also full of confidence and new hope. In 2013, Saad and his family managed to escape the bloody civil war in Syria which has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives. Now, in the north-west of Melbourne, at Catholic Regional College Sydenham, Saad has duxed the school.
It wasn’t until after he arrived in Australia just two years ago, that he even began to learn English. His English skills made it difficult for him even to get into a school in Australia, but Saad persisted and after just four months began achieving great results.
‘I think the hardest part was getting into school,’ he said. ‘The community was lovely with me.
‘I’m really grateful for being given the opportunity to come to Australia and study here. Despite all the difficulties, I was given a new life. I really wish I can pay it back one day.’
Saad has already been offered a scholarship at Monash University, and hopes to study biomedicine or medicine.
Below, hear and watch Saad and Omar tell their remarkable story, and share in their courage and triumphs.