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Local businessman creates charity concert for refugees in Indonesia

18 December 20155 comments

A former refugee has organised a concert in Indonesia to help educate the public on the situation of refugees trapped in the country and possibly provide them with some hope during the festive season.

Supermarket owner Khan Hazara devised the ‘Smile for Refugees’ concert as a way to support refugees living in Indonesia.

Khan Hazara, owner of halal supermarket, Dandy Mart.

Khan Hazara, owner of halal supermarket, Dandy Mart.

The concert aims to highlight the plight of refugees and help relieve some of their trauma through the power of music.

It also aims to support RLC; and other refugee established and managed schools operating to educate children in Indonesia.

“The festive season and New Year is fast approaching, people all around the world are celebrating the joys and happiness but refugees back in Indonesia have very little to take part in the joy season,” said Khan.

Established artist Zia Sahil and his musical group will be the headlining performance at the concert on December 21st in Cisaria, Bogor.

“I wish with all my heart to do something for the asylum seekers in Indonesia . . . this concert will be given so smiles can be reinstated and traumas can be forgotten, and music has the power to encourage, comfort, and inspire the listener,” said Zia Sahill.

After enduring extremely difficult circumstances as a refugee in Indonesia and when travelling to Australia by boat, concert organiser Khan is determined to help in whatever way he can.

“I had a hard time in Indonesia as a refugee, that’s why I had a dream to do something for them if I was able to.”

The twenty-two year old is the owner and manager of a burgeoning halal supermarket in Hampton Park, in Melbourne’s south east.

Having been persecuted for belonging to the minority ethnic group known as the Hazaras, Khan was forced flee his home of Afghanistan, only to then endure the same treatment in Pakistan.

At 17, Khan decided to seek asylum in Australia, leaving behind his mother, wife, and three children.

Khan made his way to Malaysia, and then to Indonesia where he was arrested and put in a holding facility.

During relocation from his cell, Khan was able to escape and after two months found a boat to take him to Australia.

The boat he was on was intercepted and taken to Christmas Island, where he spent three months in detention before being granted permanent residency.

Without a cent in his pocket, Khan studied a diploma in business management while working as a courier at night, and managed to buy a small wholesale bakery within a year.

Khan has now extended that bakery into a full supermarket in Hampton Park and has recently opened a second location.


Laurie Nowell
AMES Australia Senior Journalist