Afghan Australian

Afghan Australian

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Afghan Australians are Australians whose ancestors came from Afghanistan or who were born in Afghanistan.
According to the 2006 Australian census 16,751 Australians were born in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 while 19,416 claimed Afghan ancestry, either alone or with another ancestry.

Afghan cameleers


The first Afghan cameleers arrived in Melbourne
Melbourne
Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. The Melbourne City Centre is the hub of the greater metropolitan area and the Census statistical division—of which "Melbourne" is the common name. As of June 2009, the greater...

 in June 1860, when 8 men arrived with a shipment of 24 camels for the Burke and Wills expedition
Burke and Wills expedition
In 1860–61, Robert O'Hara Burke and William John Wills led an expedition of 19 men with the intention of crossing Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometres...

. Afghans without camels are reported to have reached Australia as early as 1838 , they worked in outback
Outback
The Outback is the vast, remote, arid area of Australia, term colloquially can refer to any lands outside the main urban areas. The term "the outback" is generally used to refer to locations that are comparatively more remote than those areas named "the bush".-Overview:The outback is home to a...

 Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 from the 1860s to the 1930s. The Afghans played an influential role in establishing the Muslim faith in Australia
Islam in Australia
Islam in Australia is a small minority religious grouping, but fourth largest after all forms of Christianity , irreligion and Buddhism , excluding 11.2% who failed to answer at the last census...

 and helped in finding a way to reach the country's unexplored interior..

Brief overview


Prior to 1979 and the war in Afghanistan, approximately 149 Afghans came to Australia for educational purposes. After 1979, over 7,000 came, escaping the communist regime at the time, and later escaping the radical Mujahideen. The Afghan Australian community has produced a sizable number of individuals notable in many fields, including law, medicine, engineering, teaching and business.

In Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, the largest portion of Afghans reside in the LGAs of City of Ryde
City of Ryde
The City of Ryde is a Local Government Area in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, on the Lower North Shore and Greater Western Sydney over West Ryde and Eastwood District....

 (North Ryde, Macquarie Park, Marsfield, and Top Ryde), The Hills Shire (Castle Hill
Castle Hill, New South Wales
Castle Hill is a suburb in the north-west of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Castle Hill is located 31 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, in the Hills District of the Greater Western Sydney region...

, Cherrybrook
Cherrybrook, New South Wales
Cherrybrook is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Cherrybrook is located 27 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of Hornsby Shire...

, and Kellyville
Kellyville, New South Wales
Kellyville is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Kellyville is located 36 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of The Hills Shire, part of the Hills District region.-History:...

), Blacktown (Glenwood
Glenwood, New South Wales
Glenwood is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Glenwood is located 40 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of the City of Blacktown...

, Parklea, Stanhope Gardens and Bella Vista
Bella Vista, New South Wales
Bella Vista is a suburb of north-western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Bella Vista is located 33 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the The Hills Shire. Bella Vista is part of the Greater Western Sydney region and the Hills...

) and Sutherland Shire
Sutherland Shire
The Sutherland Shire is a Local Government Area in the Southern Sydney region of Sydney, Australia. Geographically, it is the area to the south of Botany Bay and the Georges River...

 (Miranda
Miranda, New South Wales
Miranda is a suburb in southern Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Miranda is located 24 kilometres south of the Sydney central business district, in the Sutherland Shire....

). Ethnic Hazara's reside in suburbs such as Auburn
Auburn, New South Wales
Auburn is a suburb in western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales Australia. Auburn is located 19 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre of the local government area of Auburn Council.-History:...

 and Merrylands.

There is now a great division between Afghans who have arrived between 1979 and 1999, who are considered as more liberal, educated and open minded, in contrast to those who have arrived since 2001, who are considered more conservative and religious.

In Melbourne, which is host to the second largest Afghan population in Australia, the majority of Afghans live in city of Greater Dandenong and city Casey. The recent arrival of Afghan asylum seekers by boat has changed the demography of the Afghan Australian community in a significant way. Once only a tiny minority, Hazaras are now more common among the Afghan Australian community in all major cities and small country towns such as Shepparton, Mildura and Swan Hill in Victoria and Griffith in NSW.

Australian residents at the time of the 2006 Census who were born in Afghanistan arrived mostly in the 1990s (7,707) and since 2000 (8,554). Very few had arrived before 1979 (149). 9,356 (56%) had acquired Australian citizenship
Australian nationality law
Australian nationality law determines who is and who is not an Australian, and is based primarily on the principle of Jus soli. The status of Australian citizenship was created by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 which received Royal Assent on 21 December 1948 and came into force on...

.

Cultural centres


In Sydney there are several Afghan Mosques to which Afghans gather, one located in North Ryde, New South Wales
North Ryde, New South Wales
North Ryde is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. North Ryde is located 15 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of the City of Ryde...

 and another located in Blacktown, New South Wales
Blacktown, New South Wales
Blacktown is a suburb in the City of Blacktown, in Western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Blacktown is located 34 kilometres west of the Sydney central business district and is the administrative centre of the local government area of City of Blacktown.Blacktown is the largest...

. The Blacktown Mosque is going under reconstruction and will possibly close, due to the small Afghan population in the area. The Mosque may most likely move to Kellyville
Kellyville, New South Wales
Kellyville is a suburb of Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Kellyville is located 36 kilometres north-west of the Sydney central business district in the local government area of The Hills Shire, part of the Hills District region.-History:...

.

Education


In Sydney there are two Saturday school's for Afghan Australian youth's:
  • Esteqlal Afghan Saturday School located at Castle Hill Library.
  • Top Ryde Afghan Saturday School located at Ryde Public School.

Language


Various Persian dialects are spoken at home by two thirds of people (11,066) of Afghan heritage, whilst Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 and other Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 and various Turkic languages
Turkic languages
The Turkic languages constitute a language family of at least thirty five languages, spoken by Turkic peoples across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family.Turkic languages are spoken...

 are also spoken. In recent years Hazaragi dialect has been officially recognized by NAATI.

Religion


Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is the declared religion of most Afghan Australians, 15,961 or 95% Additionally there is a small minority of Christians .

See also

  • Afghan (Australia)
    Afghan (Australia)
    The Afghans or Ghans were camel drivers who worked in outback Australia from the 1860s to the 1930s. While called Afghans, not all of them were from Afghanistan; some came from the northern regions of British India, areas that now constitute modern-day Pakistan...

    - Muslim camel drivers who worked in outback Australia from the 1860s to the 1930s, not all of whom came from Afghanistan
  • The Afghan Cameleeers in Australia