With the help of Refugee Action, an event was organised by members of the Syrian refugee community for Syrian ladies and children in Liverpool on the 25th of March 2018. Thanks to the active ladies and in co-ordination with Refugee Action, the event was a great success, it involved traditional Syrian food that was cooked by the participant ladies themselves.
It was so lovely to see the pride each lady has represented her dish with, as in Syrian culture expressing love and dedication get represented by the Syrian food that takes a long time to be made most of the times.
Some ladies shared with hand made products and presented one of their creations to the winner of one of the competitions, which was great joy to the ladies, there were some games and presents as well to give to the winners with one of the Syrian ladies doing Henna for the young children and the women which was received with great joy.
Everything was free as thanks to refugee action support the hire of the hall was covered by them which made it more enjoyable to all ladies.
Some ladies travelled from Huyton to attend the event and they felt that it made them feel much better as lots of them were worried about families and relatives in Syria but being surrounded by their friends made the nostalgia a bit easier to manage. The kids were running and laughing, as the language barrier still a big part of these womens lives it made them relax and enjoy the event by being able to express themselves in their mother tongue with people around them. The event was a success by all measures.
The Syrian community in Liverpool organised, at very short notice, a moving demonstration in support of their compatriots and, in some cases, former neighbours caught up in the siege of Eastern Ghouta. This was in response to the escalation of the attacks by Syrian government forces and Russian warplanes on Sunday 19 February. Hundreds of people including women and children were killed in the space of a few days.
I spoke to people at the gathering who were waiting for news of loved-ones and others who had already been told the worst about family and friends. The dignity of all present was very striking. It was also interesting to note that there was no collection of money at the event. The main aims were to raise awareness of the situation and seek support for the victims.
The day before the demonstration, the UN passed a resolution (with the support of Russia) for a 30 day ceasefire. However, on the day of the demonstration government forces were still attacking Eastern Ghouta. The situation remains desperate with an estimated 1,500 people killed since February. It is estimated that the conflict in Syria has killed more than 350,000 people and displaced more than 11 million others. A very small but important number of these are now settled in our region.
If you are interested in supporting the refugees based in our area, please see our volunteering page for more information.
There’s a lot of events, calls for papers, new research and other information related to work with refugees that we think needs to be shared as widely as possible.
At Edge Hill, a new Migration Working Group has been set up, led by Dr Zana Vathi.
Gramnet (the network for community members and scholars working in the field of migration and refugee studies at Glasgow University) is currently promoting their film series. Maybe this kind of film event is something we should look at hosting in EHU?
Natakallam is a new online social venture, aiming to link refugees with communities globally through language teaching. You can make a connection with a refugee in camps in Syria, and hear about the refugee crisis first hand.
Care4Calais’ latest news reports the French government’s provision of food for refugees (and the problems with it).
Action for Refugees is very interested in how refugees access university – we’re keen to find out more about that experience. We’re not the only ones: a new researcher in access to HE is looking for refugee participants to talk about their experiences of accessing university. STAR, the university based student network for refugees are currently advertising for an Access to University coordinator.
For those looking for support now, the Refugee Support Network can offer advice to young people (18-25) looking to apply to university, by phone and email. Closer to home, find out about applying for EHU’s Sanctuary Scholarship scheme here.