Moustafa Fahour OAM is the Founder & Director of the Islamic Museum of Australia (IMA).
Founded in 2010, the IMA is Australia's first Islamic museum and is a not-for-profit foundation.
The IMA was awarded the Best Muslim Organisation and the Best New Muslim Organisation for 2011 by the Australian Muslim Achiever Awards (AMAA). In the same year, Moustafa was recognised as the Muslim Man of the Year and as Volunteer of the Year by the AMAA.
The IMA was officially opened on 28 February 2014, and within months of opening its doors, it was recognised in the Museum Australia 2014 Museum and Galleries National Awards (MAGNAs).
In January 2015, Moustafa received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) for his service to the visual arts and cross-cultural relations.
He was also selected in The World's Most Influential Young Arabs under the age of 40 by Arabian Business in 2015 and as one of Melbourne's Top 100 Influential People by The Age.
Moustafa's motivation to create the IMA began after witnessing the false depiction of Islam in the media.
“I remember vividly one night coming home after work and watching the news and just seeing the inaccurate information about Islam," Moustafa said.
"It was that moment where I thought ‘I need to do something about this because this is not Islam'.
“The Islamic Museum of Australia is really about showcasing the rich, artistic, cultural heritage of Islam and the contributions Muslims have made to society, and mainly to Australia."
Moustafa says the opening of the IMA was "the biggest highlight in my life."
“It meant so much to my family, it meant so much to me, to be able to contribute back to a country that’s given us so much," he said.
"To be able to do that using art and education to enhance social cohesion and community harmony really is an important part of life."
Moustafa is currently the Executive General Manager at Habtoor Leighton Group (HLG), one of the leading diversified international contractors in the Middle East and North Africa and is based in Dubai, UAE.
He has over 13 years of experience in the banking industry and management, particularly in both direct investments and management of ultra-high net worth individuals and family groups globally and formerly held positions with Macquarie Private Bank, National Australia Bank, UBS and Citigroup.
Moustafa is also the author of Boundless Plains: The Australian Muslim Connection and The Journey: Establishing Australia's First Islamic Museum and is the Executive Producer of the Boundless Plains: The Australian Muslim Connection documentary.
Moustafa graduated with a Bachelor of Business from La Trobe University in 2001. He says the University "means a lot" to him.
“The environment, the culture, even the multiculturalism that thrives in the University itself – I didn’t learn to appreciate until later on in life. It’s such a unique environment," he said.
The takeaway message from Moustafa's outstanding contribution to Australia and its Islamic community is that anything is possible.
“If you really believe in something, you can achieve it," he said.
"It doesn’t matter who you are. It doesn’t matter what background you come from. It doesn’t matter what religion you are. If you really believe in a cause, you go out there and you do it."
Last updated: 8th May 2019