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Abbas Nazari

Author, 'After the Tampa: From Afghanistan to New Zealand'
After the Tampa

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

National Press Club of Australia

This address has been rescheduled to Wednesday 8th September.

Join Abbas Nazari live from Christchurch, as he discusses his new book After the Tampa: From Afghanistan to New Zealand. Moderated by National Press Club President, Laura Tingle.

When the Taliban were at the height of their power in 2001, Abbas Nazari's parents were faced with a choice: stay and face persecution in their homeland, or seek security for their young children elsewhere.

The family's desperate search for safety took them on a harrowing journey from the mountains of Afghanistan to a small fishing boat in the Indian Ocean, crammed with more than 400 other asylum seekers.

When their boat started to sink, they were mercifully saved by a cargo ship, the Tampa. However, one of the largest maritime rescues in modern history quickly turned into an international stand-off, as Australia closed its doors to these asylum seekers.

The Tampa had waded into the middle of Australia's national election, sparking their hardline policy of offshore detention. While many of those rescued by the Tampa were the first inmates sent to the island of Nauru, Abbas and his family were some of the lucky few to be resettled in New Zealand.

Twenty years after the Tampa affair, Abbas tells his amazing story, from living under Taliban rule, to spending a terrifying month at sea, to building a new life at the bottom of the world.

A powerful and inspiring story for our times, After the Tampa celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.

Abbas and his family have thrived since being resettled in New Zealand. In 2019, Abbas was awarded a Fulbright scholarship to the United States, where he attained a Master's in Security Studies from Georgetown University, Washington DC. Abbas hopes to help children of refugee backgrounds build meaningful lives in their adopted homelands.

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