It’s a story that would not be possible in the US under Donald Trump’s ban on refugees from Muslim countries.
After escaping war-torn Syria, brothers Omar and Saad Al-Kassab are making a life for themselves in Australia.
So well are they doing that Saad was recently named dux of his school and will study medicine, while Omar is studying business.
In Q&A‘s return on Monday night, the brothers took the opportunity to ask US policy analyst and Trump supporter Helen Andrews why innocent refugees are being prevented from even entering the United States as part of the new administration’s travel ban.
Currently, citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries are banned from entering the US for 90 days, while Syrians are indefinitely outlawed.
citizens of this country?”
Ms Andrews was put on the back foot and forgot the indefinite ban placed by the US on Omar and Saad’s birthplace.
The Al-Kassab family fled the Syrian civil war in 2013 and arrived in Australia in June 2014.
They couldn’t speak a word of English three years ago – and began learning the language by watching Question Time in Parliament.
Watch Omar and Saad’s Q&A segment below:
— ABC Q&A (@QandA) February 6, 2017
Saad has since earned an Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 96.65, making him the top student of his year at the Catholic Regional College Sydenham, in Melbourne’s north-west.
He followed his brother and asked Ms Andrews: “Don’t
Ms Andrews avoided the question and responded by saying President Trump and the US are doing the best they can to ensure security.
“You know, I think Donald Trump and all Americans want to help everyone in Syria, as much as they can, to the greatest extent that America can,” she said.
“But it’s a simple fact that a dollar goes further helping refugees closer to the Middle East.
“You can help 12 people in the Middle East for the price of resettling one person in the United States. It really doesn’t make sense if you’re a humanitarian to concentrate on a few people winning the lottery, when you could help 11 more people closer to the site.”
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews stood up for the young brothers, questioning Ms Andrews’ beliefs and her stance on refugees.