Friday, 10th December, 2010
Delegates and locals attended the Regional Art Gallery yesterday for the premiere screening of the documentary "In the Footsteps of the Ancestors - Muslims Down Under".
In recognition of the city's long association with the Islamic faith, a diverse range of religious, business and government leaders and local councillors attended the screening of the documentary was held in Broken Hill.
The screening of the documentary also attracted national and international attention through the Middle East television network, Al Jazeera, which broadcasts to more than 220 million households in more than 100 countries.
Documentary-maker Nada Roude said her film was about Muslims in Australia and the history and contribution that early Afghan cameleers made.
"The documentary encourages a greater effort in understanding and appreciation of Islam and Muslims where sharing knowledge, and sharing stories, is one of the most important ways of building a genuine sense of community in Australia," Ms Roude said.
"It strengthens the belief in fairness, equality and respect, the values we aspire to in Australia.
"In the longer time lines of Australian history, Muslim people have a little-known story. "This documentary seeks to explore the story, in the footsteps of the ancestors."
Ms Roude said the documentary was an important educational tool that was born out of the need to education people about Australian Muslims.
The documentary was premiered in Broken Hill because of the rich history, according to Ms Roude.
"Broken Hill has a wonderful history ... I am honoured to place Broken Hill on the world map," she said.
"It is time for us to say 'we need to talk about our history' and to walk in the footsteps of our ancestors which is an important journey.
"The documentary will be used to build bridges and create harmony and cohesion."
At a mayoral reception Mayor Wincen Cuy welcomed the screening and said it had deepened his understanding and appreciation of how Broken Hillwas founded.
He said last night's event was one of national and international significance. "This is a fabulous story that can be told and told and told," Mayor Cuy said.
Dr Jeff McMullen, an Australian journalist, also spoke to the delegates and attending locals.
He said the documentary would speak to all human beings and it was a wonderful credit to Ms Roude.
As part of the celebration, the city's historic Moslem Mosque, which was built in 1903-04, would be acknowledged and used for a full day of prayer today.