Portrait of Najaf Mazari

Najaf Mazari

Najaf Mazari is the co-author (with Robert Hillman) of 2008 novel The Rugmaker of Mazar-e-Sharif, which eloquently tells the story of his journey as a refugee from Afghanistan to Australia. Also written with Hillman, 2011 follow-up The Honey Thief is a collection of stories in the tradition of Afghan folktales.

Mazari fled upheaval in Afghanistan in 2001 and made his way to Australia, where he now lives with wife, Hakeema, and his daughter, Maria. He is a successful businessman with a shop in Melbourne’s antique precinct, selling traditional Afghan rugs.

He is deeply involved in creating a better climate for asylum-seekers in Australia and in charity activities that provide medical and educational assistance to some of the poorest villages in Afghanistan. Each year, Najaf sponsors an Afghan Evening of traditional song, dance and cuisine that highlights the achievements of Afghans in Australia.