Afghan Camaleers in Australia
Posted by carolom on June 9, 2007
Sal and I filmed the launch of the Afghan Camaleers exhibition last night.
Two of the speakers were Eric Sultan and Mona Wilson (nee Akbar)
Eric and Mona are direct descendants of Afghan~Aborginal ancestry a rich and at times very political merging of two cultures that were equally at home in the desert country.
I was delighted to catch up with Mona again.
Although we don’t share a cultural background we are both born on February 28th…I was born on her 30th Birthday and there is definitely something Fishy about our connection which goes back many years and with lots of fond memories……….
Eric Sultan pointed out that not all of the Camaleers were Afghan and there was a much broader representation of faiths and cultures than is generally recognised when discussing the Camaleers and their impact on the outback of Australia.
From the Museum homepage:
Australia’s Muslim Cameleers
Pioneers of the Inland 1860s to 1930s
Muslim Explorers and Pioneers of Central Australia’s Inland will reveal the remarkable contribution which Australia’s first Muslim community made to the exploration and settlement of Australia’s arid interior.
The stories of Muslim explorers and pioneers provide an intriguing counterbalance to dominant white explorer legends of Central Australia.
Muslims have been part of Australian society since the Burke and Wills expedition (1860) and have contributed significantly to Australia’s economic and cultural development.
Muslim cameleers assisted all major expeditions into Australia’s uncharted interior during the late 19th century.
These Muslim pioneers provided the lifeblood for many inland settlements, isolated stations and mines, and forged communication routes through remote Australia.
The exhibition tells this compelling story and investigates its continuing resonance with descendants from Australia’s Muslim communities.