Baby Nasr, 1986.
After Nasr was born in Afghanistan, in 1986, it became apparent to his family that he had developmental issues.
In 1989 his father, Haji, successfully applied for asylum while visiting relatives in Australia, his life under threat if he returned. In 1992 the Mujahideen seized Kabul and Haji’s family fled to Pakistan, their home destroyed by rockets and their eldest daughter injured.
Haji travelled to Pakistan to ensure his family’s safety, and after returning to Australia he sponsored his family to join him. His application was rejected 15 months later because of Nasr’s disability. With support from local parliamentarians, however, visas were granted after a waiting period of three years.
The family was overjoyed, but Nasr was now nine years old and precious time was lost in terms of treatment. An operation soon after Nasr’s arrival was unsuccessful. Nasr now attends a special school and is wheelchair-bound and unable to talk.
Haji says: ‘Support from community support services, like ADEC, has enabled us to manage Nasr’s care and to face the increasing issues as he gets older.’