For 25 years, Shaikh Abdul Quddoos Azhari has been dreaming about opening an Islamic school in Australia’s Northern Territory.
He finally succeeded this year after finding the land, getting necessary approvals, and drawing around 35 students.
Named the Australian International Islamic College, the school in the city of Darwin is open to students of all faiths.
The campus sits on a 50-acre block at Berrimah, an industrial suburb in Darwin’s east, with several semi-permanent structures acting as classrooms.
The school offers primary education for now, but there are plans to expand to include students through 12th grade with exchange opportunities for foreign students.
Australia is home to more than 600,000 Muslims, who make up 2.6% of its population, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.