Colour photograph of Ehasan El-Helou and Isaaf El-Helou outside their home in Doncaster, Melbourne, 1980.

Ehasan and Isaaf El-Helou migrated to Australia from Syria in 1969. Ehasan's journey on the Greek ship Patris took 36 days from Beirut, through Gibraltar, Cape Town, Fremantle and Port Melbourne. On the day of his arrival his uncle Sheik Fehmi El-Imam, a Muslim religious leader in Australia, welcomed him.

For many years, Ehasan worked as a mechanic and various other jobs such as delivering bread in Melbourne's north-west suburbs. His wife, Isaaf, was a volunteer in the local municipality, school cantina, and also taught Arabic in the Box Hill Language Centre during the 1980s. Ehasan was engaged in community activities, most notably in the Preston Islamic Centre.

Description of Content

Man and woman outside house

Physical Description

Colour photograph on paper.


Statement of Historical Significance:
Muslims in Australia are an under represented cohort in both the museum's collections and Australian history more broadly. As an-ever growing faith in Australia, it is important to trace the migration and settlement of Muslim Australians across time in order to help provide a historical, social and cultural context for Muslim Australians today. This collection is the key outcome for the collaboration between the Museum and Dr Dzavid Haveric, MV research associate, who has published a seminal history of Muslims in Australia. This collection is the result of his research and community interviews.

More Information