“When no country in the world recognises your existence…life becomes a living nightmare.”Fadi Chalouhy
Imagine being born into a world where the very concept of rights is denied to you from the moment you take your first breath. Picture a life devoid of education, employment opportunities, access to healthcare, and the basic freedom to move about as you please, all while bearing the weight of relentless discrimination from your own government and its citizens.
Such was the harsh reality that Fadi X faced from the moment he came into this world – a world that refused to recognize him as a person deserving of any rights. Fadi was condemned to statelessness, a condition where he existed as a mere ghost on the global stage. He possessed no citizenship, bore no identity, and held no claim to any fundamental rights.
Raised by a single mother, Fadi’s initial 28 years were marked by the haunting label of an “illegal alien” in the unforgiving landscape of Lebanon. But despite the formidable odds stacked against him, this remarkable young man managed to defy the relentless forces of adversity, embarking on an arduous journey that eventually led him to the distant shores of Sydney.
Fadi’s incredible story
Fadi was born to a Lebanese mother and abandoned by his Syrian father, setting the stage for a life marred by statelessness. Lebanon’s laws refused to recognize him, rendering him invisible and without rights from the moment he entered this world.
Illegal since birth, Fadi faced relentless bullying and rejection from a society that didn’t want him. His uphill battle seemed insurmountable, a staggering labyrinth of barriers, denying him access to education, public health, a driver’s license – even the most basic legal identity. To say “the odds were stacked against him” would be a colossal understatement.
But in the darkest hour of 2017, a glimmer of hope pierced through. A response from Talents Beyond Boundaries, a non-governmental organization on a mission like no other – not to shelter refugees through traditional humanitarian programs, but to guide them to safety via skilled migrant schemes.
Miraculously, against all conceivable odds, Fadi managed to secure an education and gain work experience in Lebanon, all while living as an illegal alien. Then, in 2019, the tides of destiny shifted dramatically. Fadi became the first stateless person to be granted an Australian skilled migrant visa, thanks to the sponsorship of an Australian entrepreneur. A foreign land held the promise of a brand new chapter filled with excitement and hope.