To celebrate, award-winning author Hanifa Deen will speak about her new book Ali Abdul v the King: Muslim stories from the dark days of White Australia at the launch of National Family History Week at the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne.
In Ali Abdul v the King Hanifa Deen discovers a tribe of men with a hidden history – men whose stories are rarely told: the ‘Ghans’, cameleers, ‘sepoys’, hawkers, herbalists, and pearl divers, known collectively as ‘Mohammedans’ in early Australian history.
Mahomet Allum, wonder herbalist and ladies’ man, bush battler Ali Abdul, the feisty Afghan Rock men, and Sam the republican pearl diver, are some of Deen’s ‘men from the archives’. To others they are troublemakers and ‘lustful aliens’. Unwelcome and a threat to Australian workers, these are the dark strangers in the days of the White Australia Policy, when race was used to classify people and bar them from entering the country.
This fascinating collection of narratives combines storytelling with history and nostalgia as Deen takes the reader back into Australia’s past. These stories may even help explain some of the moral ambiguities and strange ironies that trouble us today.
Join us for the launch of National Family History Week at the Victorian Archives Centre in North Melbourne.
2:30pm Friday 29 July
99 Shiel St, North Melbourne (free parking at 112 Macaulay Rd)
RSVP: firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 26 July
See the full list of events at http://www.familyhistoryweek.org.au