Muzafar Ali searches for identity in ‘Watandar: My Countryman’


Irene Zada (Cameleer Descendant) and Muzafar Ali. Credit: Katrina Penning
Irene Zada (Cameleer Descendant) and Muzafar Ali. Credit: Katrina Penning
Muzafar Ali's captivating story unfolds in the documentary film ‘Watandar: My Countryman’, as he embarks on a quest for identity in his adopted homeland of Australia.

Through his lens, Muzafar explores the lives of the descendants of Afghani cameleers who arrived in Australia over 160 years ago.

The film continues Muzafar’s enduring friendship with documentary filmmaker Jolyon Hoff. Their journey together began in 2013, when Jolyon, inspired by Australia’s contentious “stop the boats” rhetoric, sought to connect with refugees.

Their encounter led to the creation of the acclaimed documentary The Staging Post, which shed light on the establishment of a refugee-led school in Indonesia.

Muzafar’s own background as a Hazara artist who grew up as a refugee in Pakistan adds a poignant depth to his work. Having returned to Afghanistan in 2004 to collaborate with the United Nations disarmament program, Muzafar’s photographic endeavours brought forth rare documentation of seldom-explored regions of the country.

In 2015, Muzafar found a new home in Australia through the humanitarian visa program, residing for a time with Jolyon and his family. Together, they continue to champion the cause of refugee resettlement and support refugee-led initiatives throughout Southeast Asia.

Their unwavering dedication extends to their current mission of resettling Indonesian refugees in Australia through the skilled migration visa program. By leveraging the refugees’ education and English language skills acquired through the refugee-led schools, they aim to connect them with rural and regional businesses in need of capable workers.

Watch the trailer here:



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