For six-year-old Mowahid Abidi, the Australian flag is a sign of hope, peace and a fresh start.
He arrived in Adelaide two weeks ago with his parents, grandparents and siblings, on a rescue flight from Afghanistan after a three-day wait at Kabul Airport.
“When Australian soldiers and troops took us to the airport, we experienced many difficulties outside the gate because of the crowds, because of the Taliban,” said Mowahid’s father, Erfanullah Abidi.
“[They had] checkpoints and were beating people.
“[The kids] were crying and I just told them that Australian soldiers would help us.”
Mr Abidi said the Australian Army helped them into the airport to evacuate and made Mowahid feel comfortable throughout the process.
“The soldiers and army officers encouraged him … and they brought him many toys, many balls,” he said.
“They played football and handball with him and encouraged him and supported him.
“It was the first time that he was experiencing such support.”
The family first made it to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) before being taken to Australia.
After Mowahid saw a picture of the Australian flag on his dad’s smartphone, he decided to draw a picture of it to show his thanks.
He then gave the picture to Australian Army officials, who told him they would hang it up in their office.
‘Full of peace, full of prosperity’
While the Abidi family lost everything in Afghanistan, they are excited to start a new life in Australia.
“It’s a nice place. The people are amazing. You are all supportive, you are all welcoming,” Mr Abidi said.
“When we arrived in Adelaide, I saw a different world. I saw people who were working for humanity.
“I’m very excited to start a new life full of peace, full of prosperity and full of happiness.”
The family were released from quarantine at The Playford Hotel on Thursday and have now entered temporary accommodation.
“I’ve shown [Mowahid] on my smartphone and on TV what [Australia looks like] and what opportunities he will have. I told him that [he] will go to school, find new friends, have toys and play in the parks,” Mr Abidi said.
“I’m sure that we will have a good and bright future.”
Video: ‘It was never easy’ to evacuate from Afghanistan (Sky News Australia)Internet Explorer Channel Network