Abbas Nazari is a former Afghan refugee who fled the Taliban in 2001.
Abbas was one of more than 400 asylum seekers who were rescued by the Norwegian container ship, the MV Tampa, in the Indian Ocean as they sought asylum in Australia in 2001. After being denied asylum in Australia and held offshore for weeks by Australian special forces, Abbas and his family were eventually resettled in New Zealand.
Having arrived as an eight year old with no English, Abbas went on to place third in the New Zealand Spelling Bee a few years later, play representative rugby, and graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelors in Diplomacy and International Relations.
In 2019 he was awarded a Fulbright scholarship where he has just completed a Master's at Georgetown University in Washington DC. While in the United States, Abbas wrote and published his family memoir, After The Tampa: From Afghanistan to New Zealand which has received critical acclaim and become a number 1 New Zealand bestseller.
As a speaker, Abbas shares his journey, his experiences of thriving in a foreign country, and some lessons learned along the way.