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.

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.

 

 

Conversations on identity, language and possibility – with Debora Kayembe

We reached out to the organisers behind the Much Language Such Talk Podcast, who will be interviewing Debora Kayembe during Refugee Festival Scotland 2021.

“We are releasing a special podcast episode where we interview human rights lawyer, activist and rector of the University of Edinburgh, Ms. Debora Kayembe. We will talk about her work as lawyer and translator, and her experiences with multilingualism and arriving in the UK as refugee.

“It is a very educational, inspiring conversation about identity, the importance of languages, and the possibilities in life when you believe in yourself.

“We believe it is important to share stories that are relatable and encouraging, and to highlight individual experiences from refugees. Ms Kayembe’s journey has been inspiring, and her multilingualism is an important part of her story. We want to encourage our listeners and society as a whole to recognise the importance of refugee languages as carriers of stories, culture and memories.

“It still happens that refugees and migrants are told to stop speaking their home languages for the sake of integration, instead of recognizing the importance of language and identity. We want to encourage our listeners to learn from one another, and celebrate diversity.”

Tune in at 12pm on 17th June. To listen to the episode, please go to www.mlstpodcast.com

More information about this event: https://www.refugeefestivalscotland.co.uk/events/podcast-special-debora-kayembe-for-refugee-week-2021/

Meet Razieh.

Artist Razieh is a member of Sewing2gether All Nations, who are holding an event on Wednesday 16th June for #RefugeeFestScot.

When Razieh arrived in Scotland, she couldn’t speak English and struggled to understand the Scottish accent. She began English classes at Govan Community Project, where she found out about Sewing2gether All Nations in Paisley, who helped her a lot to settle in her new city.

Razieh worked as an artist and art teacher in Iran, and hopes one day to continue working in her profession.

Razieh has kindly shared some of her story and artwork with us in a short video – watch now!


Razieh also shared a short message for other people in her situation.

“I understand that living in another country, it’s really difficult for all of us. But if we try doing something and continue working towards our goals, we can be successful, especially in this city. Scottish people are really friendly. When I first arrived in this city, I thought that Scottish people don’t speak English because their accent was totally difficult for me! But now I understand it and Gabi, Corinne, Angela, Pastor Debbie and Pastor Hugh (at Sewing2gether All Nations) have helped me so much with everything. So don’t worry, just try, keep going and you’ll be successful.”

Join Sewing2gether All Nations tomorrow evening at 7pm.

Watch as Aysha, another member of Sewing2gether All Nations shows you how to make an abaya dress, a loose-fitting garment that is traditionally worn by many Muslim women across the world.

Interested?

This event will be a YouTube Premiere and will go live on 16th June at 7pm.

The link and video will be available on www.sewing2getherallnations.com.

Find out more about the work of Sewing2gether All Nations.

“An opportunity to share the experiences and diversity of people living in the Highlands.”

 ‘Travellers’ is a filmed dance piece, performed by Eden Court Adult Performance Group.

The choreography and content of the piece were inspired by the shared experiences of the performers and Syrian women living in the Highlands of Scotland.

The two groups came together to dance, talk and laugh over a number of weeks. The adult performance group then drew on these interactions to create a piece of dance expressing their shared impressions and reflections.

This is the first time that Eden Court has actively participated in Refugee Festival Scotland. The group shared their excitement at being part of it:

“Refugee Festival Scotland is an opportunity to share the experiences of people living in the Highlands, and the diversity of people living in the Highlands. It is also an opportunity to reflect upon what more needs to be done to ensure the Highlands is a welcoming and inclusive place for all cultures.”

The film will be hosted on Eden Court’s website and social media for the duration of the festival.

Find out more: https://www.refugeefestivalscotland.co.uk/events/travellers-eden-court/