A guest post by Sulaiman Osman, Hikayetna
Refugee week 2016 saw many events take place in the UK and beyond. Syrian storytelling project Hikayetna got involved in Hammersmith and Fulham, where we took part in an event called ‘Make a Difference: An Evening for Refugees’.
Hikayetna’s participation in Refugee week started on 22 June at the Free Word Centre, which commissioned Amir Darwish to write a poem for the occasion. Islington Refugee Centre collaborated with the Free Word Centre for the event, which brought together immigrants from different backgrounds to deliver various performances, including music. Another collaboration was the live streaming of the event with other Refugee Week events across Europe.
On 26 June in Tunbridge, Kent, our members and locals were joined by several organisations that held stalls to promote their causes. We recited poems and presented how the project helps Syrian refugees in the UK. On the same day, we took part in an event with Refugees Welcome Haringey.
The last contribution was in Twickenham, Richmond on 30 June, at St Mary’s University. The event was attended by around 200 people, and the contributors at the event were mostly Syrians, their voices clearly heard.
Overall, the week was one to remember with all these events and collaborations. It would be good to see such attention paid to refugee issues throughout the year, and not just during the week.
For Refugee week 2017, Hikayetna plans to go national as well as local. Where 2016 was a success locally, we aim to reach national audiences by presenting our project in different geographical areas, such as Teesside, Oxford and the Midlands.
If you are interested in inviting a Syrian artist from the Hikayetna network to perform at your event for Refugee Week 2017, contact Sulaiman Osman at firstname.lastname@example.org.