Saif Abdulwahab A. Abdulla is pleased to be a New Zealander after a citizenship ceremony in Dunedin this week. Photo by Linda Robertson.
Iraq-born Dunedin resident Saif Abdulwahab A. Abdulla says he
feels safe after becoming one of New Zealand's newest
Mr Abdulla was among 29 people to receive citizenship at a
ceremony in Dunedin this week. He moved to New Zealand from
Iraq 15 years ago, but, with the country still gripped by
conflict, said it was ''nice to be away from the politics and
''I feel safer here,'' he said.
Mr Abdulla (29) was all smiles after the ceremony, talking
and laughing with his two friends who came along in support,
and said he hoped he would serve his new country well.
He had a degree in physical education from the University of
Otago, coached children's football and hoped to work as a
''I am a New Zealander now and it is a privilege. It feels
great and I am happy,'' he said.
The other new citizens are.- Yaqueline Calizaya Mamani
(Bolivia); Bruce Graham Donald (South Africa); Marianna
Fekete (Hungary); Siosaia Tuipulotu Fifita (Tonga); Shayne
Patrick Galloway (United States); Isabelle Marie Dominique
Guergoua, Ambryme Guergoua, Adelie Guergoua (France); Kesava
Kovanur Sampath (India); Luke Alexander Pennell (Britain);
Jiann-Jang Song, Tzu-Chun Lu, Ke-Si Hebe Song (Taiwan); Liam
Grant Sparrow (Britain); Salimbhai Gulamhussein Wadhwania
(India); Melanie Yvette Wei (Malaysia); Bianca Ann Zepter
(South Africa); Christine Lydia Ford, Mark Christopher Ford
(Britain); Sabrina Yu Lyn Goh (Malaysia); Stephen Kenneth
Laubscher (South Africa); Katherine Ann McWilliams, Rebecca
McWilliams (United States); Elizabeth Lochee Horn (South
Africa); Samantha Helaruwan Jamburuthugoda Gamage, Prabodha
Ratnayake Gamage Watte Gedara, Erandi Minduli Gamage, Sasmin
Meth Gamage (Sri Lanka).
- Holly Bagge.