Author: Anne Fairbairn AM  PhD (Hon)

A very happy new year to all Aussie Muslims

Many Muslims have migrated to Australia during recent years and have been greatly contributing to and enriching our Country in so many ways over the last one hundred and fifty years. Many have come from the area where civilization began; others from countries such as Pakistan and Indonesia. There is a higher percentage of Australian Muslims with Bachelor and Post Graduate degrees here than the total Australian population. Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair is held each year at the end of Ramadan and which I so enjoy attending since it always gives a picture of the richness of Muslim lives and culture. This indeed is symbolised by the Multicultural Media Award presented to this wonderful Newspaper by the Premier of New South Wales. Over the years I have been invited to many universities in Muslim countries where I spoke about Australia and our poets and artists and I learned about the wonderful poets and artists in Arab countries and in Pakistan. This is why I decided to compose an anthology of Arabic poetry which has the title ‘Feathers And The Horizon’. While in many of the countries I learned a great deal about the suffering of Palestinians as a result of the Balfour declaration which caused much anger among Muslims and Christians in the area. Now I feel sure there is also much anger about the President of the...

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Fadwa Tuqan: The Poet of Palestine

Fadwa Tuqan became the Grand Dame of Palestinian letters, and was also known as ‘The Poet of Palestine.’ She is considered to be one of the very best contemporary Arab poets. I always used to attend the annual poetry festival held in Baghdad for many years when Saddam Hussein was in Power. I met Professor Jabra Ibrahim Jabra the head of the Department of Literature at Baghdad University and we became very good friends. He was a Palestinian. He taught me a great deal about the Poetry of the Arabs which helped me compose my anthology of Arabic poetry...

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The Balfour Declaration: Ancestral concerns

Dame Florence Ann Reid was my grandmother. Her maiden name was Brumby. She was born at   Longford in Tasmania in 1867. Her fore bearer James Brumby, sailed to Tasmania in the early 1800’s from the United Kingdom and settled there.  When quite young, she was an active member of the Woman’s Federal League whose members were working very hard to bring about a federation system in Australia. She was also very concerned for the original inhabitants of Australia, the Aborigines who had lived in harmony with nature for many millennia. As a teenager I was able to read many of her notebooks, diaries and letters recovered from my parents’ house  in Sydney. So, looking back 100 years, one sees in these items, how three key events of 1917 changed the world – America’s entry into World War I, the Bolshevik Revolution and the issuance of the Balfour Declaration, in which Britain indicated support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The decision was made public in a letter from the British Foreign Secretary Lord Arthur James Balfour to Lord Rothschild (now termed the Balfour declaration). A copy of this letter was in a box in the attic since my grandfather had received a copy. The following is the content of the letter: Foreign Office November 2nd, 1917 Dear Lord Rothschild, I have much pleasure in conveying to you on...

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Paying tribute to Australian Muslims

– Dedicated to Zia Ahmad – Muslims are indeed  enriching our country In so very many ways –  now constantly. Muslims first arrived  in Australia early, Bringing with them their superb poetry, Also details of their ancient history, Many coming from arears which historically, Is where civilization  began undoubtedly. They are now enriching Australia deeply,  With so many studying at a university, Achieving their degrees brilliantly. Our news is always reported perfectly,  In the Australasian Muslims Times monthly – A superb newspaper  which certainly Deserves the Media Award received recently....

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ANZAC Day: Remembering Gallipoli

Every year on the 25 April, Turks, Australians, and New Zealanders gather for a special dawn service to commemorate that day in history. Most people attending are third or fourth generation descendants of the men that fought at the battle of Gallipoli. They honour their ancestors and the sacrifices made for their countries in a time of great turmoil and destruction. In later years, the event has also become more widely associated with any occasion in war history that has caused people to lose their lives. My mother’s two older brothers Colin and Keith Munro were both killed in...

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january, 2018

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