Meet Mohammed.

Mohammed is a member of the Yemeni-Scottish Foundation. They are holding an event to celebrate Yemen tomorrow afternoon. 

Mohammed’s story

My name is Mohammed, I’m from Yemen. I’m 27 years old. I live in Glasgow just now. I’ve been living here for around a year and 5 months so I’ve not really been any place other than Glasgow.

I’m a breakdancer, a beatboxer, a kickboarder, so I love hiphop. Back home I was a major part of Da TnT Crew, which stands for Thrillers in Town. We participated in Arabs Got Talent in 2013 and that was a great experience for me and the rest of the crew members.

I reached the UK beginning of 2020. I tried reaching out to some crews and hiphop communities here, we were going to practice somewhere and I was excited for that but then lockdown happened and we couldn’t do it.

I gather information for Yemeni-Scottish Foundation. There are asylum seekers here who are in hotels so I am asking them what they need, what is it like living in a hotel, especially during Ramadan, last Ramadan was really hard for them so I’m finding out what they need for food, clothes and things like that.

I’m really ambitious. My passion is helping people, so I want to open an organisation and develop a vulnerable country – like Yemen – hopefully when things are better there and there is no war. I would like to open an organisation for youngsters so they can come there and learn some new skills and develop themselves. That’s what I want to do for the future. And, an orphanage. That’s going to be in Yemen, that’s what I want to do. Back home, I used to do entrepreneurship, I was good at it, so I hope in these coming years to build myself up so that I can actually help the people that I want to help.

I would tell people who are struggling, to be strong because this is what life is and it’s temporary. Everyone is struggling. I’ve been through a lot, especially in this year and a half. I felt like I was alone, no family, nobody, you know, when you’re far away from home it feels really bad but I’m just going to tell everyone that from my experience there’s a theme that came through. Just be strong. Look out for yourself. It’s all about self-growth. We have an opportunity here in Scotland, we can be something and do something with our lives.

There is just one more thing I need to say. I would love to tell everyone, every refugee, every asylum seeker, everyone struggling here, I would like to tell them we don’t have to stress over things we cannot control. Because this situation, we could never control it ourselves, we have to prioritise the things we can actually control.

Yemen: The Jewel of Arabia” will introduce you to the richness of Yemen’s culture and heritage.

The event, organised by Yemeni-Scottish Foundation will highlight the country’s history and beautiful culture through music, arts, films and more, to tackle some of the misconceptions and negative imagery of Yemen displayed in the media due to the current ongoing war and conflicts.

Interested?

This event will take place online on Saturday 19th June at 3 pm.
Book your FREE tickets here.

Festival line-up | Friday 18 June

Here’s what’s on at Refugee Festival Scotland on Friday 18 June:

Wee Welcome Special

by The Language Hub C.I.C.
Online events | Community Events
11:15 am
Syrian Food From Bute

by Syrian Community in Bute
Online events | Food
11 am
by CGO Institute
Online events | Storytelling | Training courses & workshops
2 pm
Global Refugee Histories: Camps And Care
by University of Glasgow and GRAMNet
Online events | Discussion / debate
4 pm
Jambo! Radio Live Music Session For Refugee Festival Scotland 2021
by Renfrewshire’s Ethnic Communities Cultural Steering Group in Partnership with Jambo Radio
Online events | Music
5 pm
My Window
by Freedom from Torture
Online events | Film
6 pm
Life In Lockdown
by World Spirit Theatre
Online events | Storytelling
7 pm
New Beginnings
by Anahat Theatre
Online events | Dance | Film
7 pm
Read For Freedom
by Amnesty International Scotland
Online events | Advocacy/campaigning
7 pm
PAST-Inuous
by Farah Saleh
Online events | Film
Available all day
Together / Apart
by Take One Action
Online events | Film
Available all day
Travellers – Eden Court
by Eden Court
Online events | Film
Available all day
Champagne Room: A Nollywood Movie Screening
by Turn Flicks
Online event| Film
Available all day
Gaming Against The Hostile Environment
by Gaming Against the Hostile Environment
In-person / Online event | Gaming
Available all day
Life In The Time: Exhibition
by Amina MWRC
Online event | Art
Available all day
Multi Events-University Of Edinburgh 
by University of Edinburgh
Online event | Multi-events – see the listing
Musicians In Exile – Always On The Move
by THE GLASGOW BARONS
Online event | Music
Available all day
Making Home
by Steeple Church, Dundee
Online event | Art
Available all day

Refugee Festival Scotland runs from Monday 14 June until Sunday 20 June (World Refugee Day). Check out the full Refugee Festival Programme here.

 

We Grow Stronger Together

The sun was shining at Govanhill Community Gardens on Thursday for We Grow Stronger Together, hosted by Milk Cafe. We had a lovely afternoon making new friends. There was delicious food, freshly-picked mint tea, pot painting, vegetable planting and excellent conversation.

 

 

Join us on World Refugee Day!

It’s World Refugee Day on Sunday and we’re coming together in a show of solidarity with people forced to flee their homes in search of safety.

This summer is the 70th anniversary of the Refugee Convention, a UN treaty that defends the rights of refugees. In the last 70 years, many people fleeing conflict, persecution and human rights abuses have sought sanctuary here in Scotland and they have enriched our communities in so many ways. 

It’s been a difficult year for everyone. That’s why it’s more important than ever to celebrate our refugee communities.

Will you to join us in giving a warm welcome to people who have arrived in Scotland in search of safety?

Here’s how you can get involved:

1. Take a picture of yourself with our digital ‘Aye Welcome Refugees’ poster, which you can download here.

2. Share your photo on social media. You can use the suggested wording below, or chose a message of your own:

For as long as people are forced to flee war and persecution, #AyeWelcomeRefugees!

#WithRefugees #RefugeeFestScot

3. Post your photo between 11am – 1pm on World Refugee Day, Sunday 20 June. Or send your photo to digital@scottishrefugeecouncil.org.uk by 3pm this Friday and we will share it for you on Sunday.

Join us this World Refugee Day and be part of a positive movement, showing friendship and solidarity with people seeking safety.

Bring a refugee family to safety in your local community

“It’s so important to show that refugees are ordinary – but incredibly resilient – human beings, just like everyone else.”

We caught up with Kimie Riis Frengler from Sponsor Refugees, to find out more about the webinar they are co-hosting with Reset and The Edinburgh Refugee Sponsorship Circle, as part of this year’s festival. Join them at 6pm this evening (Thursday 17 June).

Tell us a little more about your event

It’s a chance for people to learn more about Community Sponsorship, a scheme that offers a safe and legal route for refugees to resettle in the UK. As the name suggests, Sponsorship is a community effort that brings together local communities and transforms not only the lives of the resettled families but also the communities that bring them here. For those who are keen to save lives and strengthen their communities in the process, this event is for you. 

What does Refugee Festival Scotland mean to you?

It is a celebration of what we cherish the most; a welcoming and open-hearted UK. For our organisation, it’s an opportunity to engage with local communities across Scotland to make the country and even more diverse and welcoming place.

Why is it important to celebrate refugee arts and culture in this way?

Many people associate the word “refugee” with a type of person, rather than a status. It’s so important to show that refugees are ordinary – but incredibly resilient – human beings, just like everyone else. Arts and culture are a great platform for exchanging ideas, ways of life and values, which is a crucial step in deepening understanding of our shared humanity. 

What are you most looking forward to about the festival?

We truly hope to see a big turnout at our event and hopefully generate some real awareness and interest in community sponsorship. We’re also looking forward to meeting people from other organisations run by and for refugee communities, so that we can join forces in our efforts to make Scotland a place of sanctuary and welcome.

Interested? Book your free ticket here. 

View the full programme for this year’s festival here.