THE LURE OF THE OUT­BACK

IN AUS­TRALIA, REFUGEES DITCH OVER­CROWDED CITIES TO LIVE A SLOWER PACED LIFE IN SMALL OUT­BACK TOWNS

The Gulf Today - Panorama - - SPECIAL REPORT - By Glenda Kwek

AHazara refugee who now calls the Aus­tralian out­back home, Ali named his new ven­ture the Afghan Friend­ship Restau­rant, a tribute to the warm wel­come he says he re­ceived after mov­ing to the town of Gri­fith ive years ago.

The 44-year-old fa­ther of three is among a grow­ing num­ber of refugees and mi­grants to Aus­tralia who have opted to live in the bush rather than among the bright lights, hus­tle and bus­tle and as­tro­nom­i­cal prices of Syd­ney or Mel­bourne.

The word friend­ship hov­ers over Ali’s head in bright red let­ter­ing while he cooks lamb skew­ers, his face a pic­ture of con­cen­tra­tion as the rich wafts of fra­grant smoke lure in hun­gry cus­tomers.

It is the irst-ever Afghan eatery in Gri­fith — a six-hour drive west of Syd­ney — and a far cry from the pie and chips sta­ples of the Aus­tralian bush.

“I sug­gest to all of my friends, es­pe­cially Afghan peo­ple, to come to Gri­fith, be­cause here’s very friendly,” Ali, who asked that his sur­name

Hazara refugee Ali cooks ke­babs at his restau­rant.

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