NEWLY arrived in Ballarat after spending a collective 32 months in detention, Nasir Alkezadh and Saeed Askeri have only simple dreams.The Kurdish men were taken by their parents from Iraq as babies and had been living in Iran as refugees before making their way separately to Australia.At 22, Mr Askeri, is the more talkative of the two. In his 15 months at the Christmas Island detention centre, he learned just enough English to get by. Refugees, he says, have no future in Iran. That is why he and his family spent more than 10 years saving money to get out of the country. When asked if life was hard in the detention centre, Mr Askeri replies with a negative. For him, it was a step closer to freedom. “I was almost free,” Mr Askeri says. In Ballarat for the last 10 days after having their refugee status formally approved, the former farmer says he misses the family he has left behind in Iran. “I have two brothers and two sisters,” Mr Askeri says. “My father is in Iran too, but my mother passed away.”Passionate about farming, Mr Askeri says all he wants now is to slowly rebuild his life. Mr Alkezadh wants to get his hands dirty as well, but preferably under the bonnet of a car. The former mechanic made the perilous journey to Christmas Island 17 months ago.Conditions on the boat, he says, were very bad. “It was very hot and people were sick,” Mr Alkezadh says. “It was very sad not to see land for days.”“I thought I will be on the boat forever.”Relieved to be in Ballarat, Mr Alkezadh says he has no dreams of great wealth. “I am just happy to be free,” he says. “I want to learn English and work as a mechanic.”And though a few things are different in their new homeland, some things – like the weather – are similar.“It was colder in Iran,” Mr Askeri says.