Last night, I attended the Boundless Plains Premiere at the NSW Parliament House. The 30-minute documentary about four young Australian Muslim men travelling into the outback was absolutely riveting. I really enjoyed watching their exploration into the depths of the Australian desert and their interviews with people who told them about the Afghan cameliers. There was an interview with a 101 year-old woman, who was the daughter of an Afghan camelier. She showed a photograph of her dad standing in front of a simple mosque. Imagine that! There’s a whole history that I wasn’t even aware of.
What really excited me was a short clip of an Aboriginal Muslim woman who lived up in Darwin – the remarkable thing was that she looked Indonesian! This young woman is living proof of the intermarriage between the Makassan trepangers and Aboriginal women.
I came away from that documentary with a quiet reassurance that Muslims have been part of the fabric of Australian society for a very long time. Evidence of that ranges from old rock paintings, the first telegraph pole in Australia, to the descendants of these early Muslims who are still living today. Kudos to the Islamic Museum of Australia team for putting together this inspiring documentary! I hope that it reaches far and wide, and promotes understanding in a world that needs more compassion, and less judgement.
On this note, Happy New Islamic Year! We’re now in the month of Muharram, 1434 after the Prophet’s migration to Medina.
May this year be a blessed and safe one for you and your loved ones 🙂