A refugee growing up in New Zealand
Jun 11, 2019
Ashleigh Ali-Aziz
A refugee growing up in New Zealand

Ashleigh Ali-Aziz came to NZ after eight years in a refugee camp. She has a Masters degree in business and is working towards her PHD.

"My family fled Kurdistan to Iran, then Iran became unsafe and my parents and siblings traveled for 30 days (mainly at night and by foot) to Pakistan. My mother was pregnant with me and I was born in a Pakistan as soon as we arrived in 1989. Not long after I was born. We were a refugee family for 8 years in Pakistan, and I arrived in NZ at the age of 8.  We were resettled at the Mangere Refugee Resettlement Centre for 6 weeks, where I saw fog for the first time in my life. Where I smelt fresh air and so much green. It felt like home straight away.

I want to share my past community projects and current projects I’m involved with (have almost collected 200 new blankets for the homeless in Auckland city and will be delivery to city mission on Sunday). I want to share the journey of a refugee and the resettlement process and explain how difficult this life is. I want to talk about what each project means to me and why being a humanitarian is so close to my heart. And lastly I want to talk about my life in my new country- NZ. I want to share the opportunities NZ has given me. Not everyone is privileged enough to have two homes like me and I want to share my gratitude.