Listen to Alam Mathiang Machot:
ALAM MATHIANG MACHOT left Sudan for the first time in 1987 and due to political instability in Ethiopia, was forced to return in 1992. He then spent several years in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya and later Uganda, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. He first came to Australia as a United Nations interpreter and decided he would like to stay.
Alam migrated to Australia by himself and has not seen his family for over 20 years. He has lived in Blacktown for nearly two years and continues to work with the Sudanese community, whilst studying personnel management part-time.
[In Sudan], when the daughter from the family marries, everyone from the family has to contribute to the dowry, 150-200 cattle.
Religion is one of the major causes for the civil war in Sudan. Like 1994 … in Khartoum … all the churches were destroyed through bulldozer. … Most of the priests, most of the deacon, flee the country. … You could see a very huge number of people praying outside, praying under the trees. They have very strong zeal to remain Christian.
Interview & photograph by Shar Jones, Blacktown City Council Museum Advisor