Mohammad Ali Amiri
Mohammad Ali Amiri lives in Wellington, New Zealand, and works two jobs – he’s a hotel night manager and a tailor. Ten years ago he fled Afghanistan at age 24, leaving behind his wife and son. He was rescued by the Tampa and sent to Nauru where he stayed for three years until he was granted refugee status by New Zealand. In January this year he was able to bring his parents, four brothers and two sisters to live with him in Wellington. Despite much searching, he has never found his wife and child.
Assadullah Nazari lives in Auckland where he works for Customs. He says his family smuggled him out of Afghanistan when he was 15 after two of his brothers were killed by the Taliban. He boarded a fishing boat in Indonesia and was later rescued by the Tampa. Assadullah was one of 36 unaccompanied minors who became known as the 'Tampa boys’ – they were quickly transferred to New Zealand after the then Prime Minister, Helen Clark, agreed to resettle them there.
Akbari Wahidulla, better known as 'Wahid", lives in Auckland with his wife and baby daughter. He’s been struggling to find work as a plasterer. He left Afghanistan at age 17 and ended up in New Zealand as one of the 'Tampa boys’. He met Assadullah on the Tampa and they remain close friends.
Abdul Farid Sufizada
Abdul Farid Sufizada, known as 'Farid", lives near Fremantle and works as a painter. Farid says he fled Afghanistan at age 23 after being kidnapped by the Taliban. He left behind his wife and three sons. After being rescued by the Tampa, Farid spent two years on Nauru. He gained refugee status in 2003 and moved to Perth on a temporary protection visa. The visa restrictions on travelling meant Farid was unable to see his wife and children for over six years. His family finally joined him in Australia in 2009.
Fauzia Sufizada is married to Abdul Farid Sufizada. After Farid fled Afghanistan, Fauzia and her sons moved in with Farid’s parents in Peshawar, Pakistan. During the long years there, Fauzia says it was too dangerous for her to leave the house and she felt isolated. She only spoke to Farid on the phone once a week and says it was hard raising her children without their father. She and Farid are now living with their sons near Fremantle and she is pregnant.
Julie Sutherland works for Child, Youth and Family Services in New Zealand. In 2001 she was tasked with looking after 36 unaccompanied minors being resettled in New Zealand who became known as the 'Tampa boys’. Julie helped the boys for more than two years while they lived in an Auckland dormitory, often taking their phone calls in the middle of the night, and taking them on shopping trips.