This term in English, Year 10 students have been studying a text called The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif. It is the autobiography of Najaf Mazari, who fled his home country of Afghanistan during the Taliban regime and travelled to Australia as an asylum seeker. This week we had the chance to visit Najaf in the rug shop he has established in Prahran since becoming an Australian citizen. Najaf shared a rich collection of stories and ideas with students as they sat amongst colourful piles of the handcrafted rugs that feature so prominently in his memoir. Students asked Najaf questions on a wide variety of subjects from refugees to bias in the media. The excursion was a rare opportunity for students to establish a more nuanced understanding of the text they have been studying, and consider contemporary issues from a different perspective. The excursion forms part of the English Department’s commitment to the cross-curriculum priority of ‘Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia’ laid out by ACARA.
Senior School Teacher