Marie is an Egyptian linguist who follows PP and continues to tell her remarkable story as a Christian in Australia:
After about three years of waiting in a queue to come to Australia, during which time we were prodded and poked by 1 – Immigration Australia, where we had to prove, as far back as three generations, that we and our families on both my side and my husband’s side had no criminal record of any kind! (We have none, not even a parking ticket).
2 – Then, Australian Health Department put us through our paces: we had to have numerous chest X Rays, blood tests, and a whole gamut of other tests, to make sure we weren't bringing in any awful diseases. We were finally declared healthy and acceptable. We also had to sign some documents whereby we accepted the Australian Government's rules, primarily, that if we couldn't find jobs, we would never ask for government help, like the dole! (we had never heard of the dole!!) We also had to sign a document which said that if we were unable to find jobs, we would be shipped back to where we had come from. We signed happily, and with that, we were accepted into Australia. We were totally overwhelmed with gratitude at the chance of a normal life!
There were about 1,500 of us from Africa and Europe on that ship bound for Australia, the Land Down Under, the Land of our most precious dreams! We all sang and danced for the 33 days and nights we were on that ship! Our joy was endless! Our gratitude and happiness at coming to Australia has never stopped, never waned. I wake up in the morning to the glorious sounds of Kookaburras and carolling Magpies. . . after nearly half a century, my sense of joy fills my soul with the wonder of being here!
The memory of my very first sight of the sliver of land on the far horizon, becoming visible in the milky light of dawn, still brings tears of joy to my eyes! I am SO very emotional about that event, our first sight of this wondrous country. We had been told by the Captain that Australia was coming into sight! We all rushed up on deck and peered breathlessly into the dawn. Then, all of a sudden,
I was the first one to SEE the land . . . I started screaming "AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA, AUSTRALIA". We all started hugging each other and crying and laughing! There are no words with which I can describe the feeling of our utter joy! I kept repeating over and over : "Thank you God, for bringing us home, thank you Jesus, for guiding us HOME . . .I am HOME, I am HOME"
We disembarked in Sydney, from where we all got divided to wherever it was we were going. When my family arrived to where we were going, we quickly discovered that my PhD and my husband's degree were not recognised!
Nobody had told us about that!!
My husband rolled up his sleeves and found himself a job as a labourer, but, he decided to go back to Uni and re do his degree at an Australian university.
I'm not one to sit there twiddling my thumbs, so I dived headlong into that wonderful Aussie institution of the VOLUNTEER; I volunteered at the Primary School as a Reading Mother. Then took on the running of the Tuck Shop. My seven languages came in handy as an interpreter, so I offered my services at the Cop Shop, the Base Hospital and the Court House.
I met the most glorious people, my beloved Aussies, who so endeared themselves to me! They accepted us with open arms, bent over backwards to help in any way they could and wanted to hear all our stories! Our house was a hive of activity on Saturday arvos!
We lived in a tiny little chamfer board house with very limited space, but people managed to cram themselves in! We were like sardines!! And very noisy ones at that!! The neighbours never complained about the noise, because they were all THERE!!
I cooked Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food for all, on a tiny little stove called Roden! (Some older people will remember them!) People ate heartily and kept asking, "can we have some MORE woggy?" What a wonderful way to start our lives on another continent!
When I was a very young teenager, I was on holiday on the Red Sea coast. Walking on a beach one day, I met a little old lady who offered to tell me my fortune. Intrigued, I accepted. Among a lot of things which have all come true, she told me I would be going on a very long journey on a 'babour' (which is 'boat' in the particular Arabic vernacular of that particular place). She then pointed at her feet!! I asked her if I was going to hell? NO, she replied, "you are going to a country like paradise, it is full of wonderful people, like angels, and they will be your good friends".
So here we are, in this wonderful country, full of Aussie angels!! Very quickly in the piece, I realised we had a lack of medical info, no proper services, no Marriage Guidance, Children's Services, Meals On Wheels etc, like in the big cities. When one Saturday, during a full house, I voiced my concerns and the conversion turned to "what are we going to do about it?"
A group of us decided we would organise something! After a bit of thought, about 12 of us got together and had a chat to City Council and told them what we needed. They gave us a mobile home, a spot in town to park the home, a desk, a couple of chairs and a telephone we could only receive phone calls on. We then proceeded to let the townspeople know we were on tap for them, anything they needed, we would try to help.
Of all of us volunteers, I was the only wog and was I was told that as I have such a big mouth, I should write to the big hospitals and ask for medical info, pamphlets etc. I did. I received an avalanche of pamphlets in response to my request. Again because of my big mouth, I was asked to get in touch with government departments and ask for the necessary services such as Marriage Guidance and all the rest. I did. And the government did!! We then decided we needed to educate other wogs and teach them to speak English. We did.
One of my people was a refugee Lebanese lady I had met when the Hospital had called me in as an interpreter. Poor lady, she was a Muslim, and her husband, unaware I spoke Arabic, warned his wife NOT to say a word, that HE would tell the doctor what was wrong with her.
I approached them, introduced myself in Arabic and told them I was there to help. He eyed me up and down, and said, “you're a Christian!! We don't need people like you, I can look after my wife”. When the doctor came to call them in, he called me in too. The lady's husband was NOT amused! I kept a smile on my face, just to reassure the poor pregnant lady. She just sat there with bowed head. It was a most uncomfortable session, but I dug my heels in and stayed where I was.
It was then I decided to go to the lady's house and teach her some English. BUT, knowing her husband's mentality, I didn't tell her. What I DID, was to drive around to her place, sit quietly in the street across the road, and wait patiently for the husband to take the five older kids to school, and for him to go to work. I then went to her place and knocked on the door.
She looked out of the window, saw me, and told me she couldn't open the door! When I asked her why? She replied that he always locked her in. So I told her I would go up the kitchen ramp, and she could come to the kitchen window, we could then have a chat.
She was so grateful! She asked me how it was that I talked to her even if I am a Christian? I explained that I don't have a problem with Muslim people, but I have a problem with their repressive religion! She told me if he ever found out she was speaking to me, he would flay her skin off, but, “could I go and see her sometimes please?” And if I saw her shopping with him, I had to pretend I didn't see her. I agreed of course!
Then one day her husband came to my house to have a letter in Arabic translated into English for him.
The letter was about him giving his wife permission to access his bank account in Beirut. His wife and children had gone on holiday to Beirut, in order to organise and pay for his daughter’s wedding.
I was a bit surprised and intrigued, wondered about the "bank account". . .how does a refugee have the money to go on holidays on the other side of the world? But, I kept my counsel and read on.
What upset me, was learning that the bride to be was only 12 years old, and the prospective bridegroom in his late 30s. I found myself commenting that children should be allowed to remain children for as long as possible, that it was unfair to pair the poor child with a middle-aged man.
The father-in-law to be was NOT amused. He immediately went into a tirade about how bad Christian parents like me are, that we teach our daughters to become whores, that we don’t care about them and allowed them all sorts of freedoms . . .and on and on he went.
When he calmed down a bit, I asked him why he had come to a democracy like Australia’s, where women are free? His answer was typical of a Muslim mind set . . .he said “Democracy? Freedom? What is democracy and freedom? NOT in MY house. My women do what I say, because I have to protect them and make them safe, THAT is why my daughter is getting married to an older man, so he can look after her”.
I sat quietly, listening to his raucous, angry voice. He suddenly changed tack and started ranting on about Australians, saying “Australians are all really stupid and ignorant, they don’t deserve the country they have! You just wait and see, when WE finally take over this country and turn it into an Islamic State, we shall put in OUR laws and make you people pay for your stupidity, and convert you all to Islam, whether you like it or not.
"We’ll even put the Halal tax (this is the Dhimmi Jezeyah) on your pork, your wine, EVEN your water, and YOU WILL pay if you want to survive.”
As though that was not bad enough, the next thing he said, although not surprising, appalled me, in his words : “When my daughter comes back from Lebanon with her new husband, we shall leave this stupid town and go and live in a big city like Melbourne or Sydney, then, we will all nine of us go on this "dole" the Australian government will give us, they will also give us houses, then we can live for free. Why should WE have to go to work when YOU do and the stupid government gives us everything?"
A couple of weeks later, he was standing on the footpath watching the rest of us marching in the ANZAC Day parade. He caught up with me at the Cenotaph, came up to me and demanded to know WHY I was marching in “celebration” of Muslim deaths?
I explained as calmly as I could, that we were NOT “celebrating”, but COMMEMORATING, remembering the sacrifice of those wonderful, selfless people who had gone and spilled their precious blood on foreign soil in order to keep this country FREE, so that the likes of he and me could come here and make a decent life for ourselves, and that what we WERE doing, was honouring those glorious soldiers, not “celebrating” Muslim deaths!!
I might as well have been speaking to a brick wall . . .he ignored everything I said, and in a loud voice, informed me that a number of Muslims were working hard to get into politics, that as soon as Muslims got themselves into positions of power in the government, and when they had the numbers, they would slowly take over this country, they would STOP us ALL from marching on ANZAC Day, because they find ANZAC Day offensive.
He told me the newly appointed politicians would use the Taqquiyah to make sure they got what all Muslims in Australia wanted. (Taqquiyah is in the Hadith, it means “deception”, which is highly encouraged in order to lull the Kufr into a sense of security – don't take my word for it, you can look it up).
My reply to his tirade, was that when that day became a reality, I hoped to be dead.
I remember the ANZACS every day of my life. I thank them for their unbelievable sacrifice. I pray for them and all their families. At sunrise and at sunset, I watch the glorious spectacle of God’s beauty and ask Him to take care of those magnificent souls who have allowed me and my family to have such a wondrous life in this amazing country.
Every November on All Souls Day, I buy a bunch of flowers, then go to the local cemetery and lay the flowers on all the Diggers’ graves. I talk to them, thank them and tell them that when it will be my turn to go to my permanent “home”, I will catch up with them to thank them personally.
I’ve met a lot of Diggers through the volunteer work that I do now in my old age. We all know that Aussie soldiers do NOT talk about Ze Vor, or ANY war for that matter . . . but they did to me, because I am not a family member, and I am a wog who COMES from the places where their awful nightmares began!
Dear Lord in heaven, how did those beautiful people live their lives with even a semblance of normalcy with those awful nightmares ever present in their lives? Only because they were AUSTRALIANS!
When they talk about "The spirit of ANZAC", I understand what they’re saying, but for me, it is "The Spirit of Australians".
And if I want to bloody march on ANZAC Day . . .then I WILL!! They might have to shoot me to stop me . . . I describe myself as a ‘Fair dinkum Aussie wog’, and that is who I am! That is what many of my Aussie friends call me!