Afghans in Australia: How this community became a family

Afghans in Australia: How this community became a family

For those who don’t know him personally, Ehsanullah Nadir would appear to be just a regular 22-year-old paramedicine student and local nurse at Bankstown – Lidcombe Emergency Department.

However, Ehsanullah and his family are part of a large, rapidly growing population of Afghans who have sought refuge in Australia in recent years.

When Ehsanullah was just 16, he, his two siblings and his mother left Afghanistan after many years of war and discrimination against their ethnic background.

Photo: Ehsanullah is currently studying Paramedicine

He explained he and his family chose Australia as their new home because of the generosity of the people and the belief that Australia would give them a fair go in rebuilding their lives, sentiments that are shared widely among the Afghan population.

I’ve always admired Australia as a country that has come a long way in the past 70 years, becoming a leader in many aspects in life, and most importantly giving a fair go to the right people no matter what background they come from,” Ehsanullah said.

The number of Afghans in Australia has been on the incline in the last decade, with the population set to grow to around 124,025 by 2021, according to the trend in growth patterns from latest Australian Housing and Population Census data sets.

Some of the most predominately active community centers for the Afghan people residing in Australia are located in Blacktown (NSW), Merrylands (NSW), Granville (NSW) and Dandenong (VIC).

Photo: Ehsanullah with two other members of the Afghan community in Australia

The Afghan Community Support Association (ACSA) and Nabi Akram Islamic Centre (NAIC) are two of the leading cultural and community centres found in Blacktown and Granville.

“The Afghan community in Sydney are known to be very family and community oriented,” Ehsanullah added.

When we start meeting Afghan families and other Afghan community centres life started to become easier as we felt the sense of belonging amongst them.

ACSA and NAIC focus on bringing the Afghan community together through religious, educational and physical activities that all Afghans from different groups, ages and different ethnicities can take part in and enjoy during their transition to their new home.

“These centres not only help us emotionally, but they also provide assistance in settling and provide any assistance needed in order for us to prosper in Australia,” Ehsanullah said.

“Many in our community are fairly young males who don’t have many families members around, and this is usually because they travelled to Australia by themselves or lost family members in Afghanistan.

“It often puts great stress on these young adults so it’s our responsibility as a community to be able to help and assist these members within our community.”

Ahmad Fakih

Ahmad is a Macquarie University student, studying the Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Marketing. As a writer with CulturalPulse, Ahmad is eager to develop his writing skills. He enjoys listening to different stories from people of different corners of the world who now call Australia home. Got a story to tell? Get in touch: [email protected]