Oh Canada

Do you remember Alyan Kurdi? The 3 years old Syrian  boy whose body washed up on a beach near Bodrum  and made global headlines? I think most of the people in the world have heard about him.

Now Missy higgins, Australian singer-songwriter and musician, sings a song a for him to tell his tragic story. She shared the song on her Facebook and said;

Like most people, the photo of little Alan Kurdi being carried out of the water shook me to my core. We often read about the tragic plight of refugees but I think that picture exposed us to the reality in such a raw way that the truth became inescapable.

‘Oh Canada’ simply aims to tell a story. It’s not preaching anything in particular, it’s simply my attempt to make sense out of senselessness. If it also reminds people of what happened to Alan and his family then I think that would be good – after what they went through they don’t deserve to be forgotten. If the song reminds people how the picture of that lifeless little boy made them feel then that would be even better because that proves we’re all very similar people who just happen to live under different circumstances. If the song inspires anyone to do something on behalf of refugees – to speak up for their rights and to push back against those who seek to inflame our fears and prejudices – then I think that would be best of all. ”

‘Oh Canada’ is out now, with 100% of net proceeds from sales going to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).

The song is accompanied by a powerful animated video created by award winning director Natasha Pincus and animation director Nicholas Kallincos.

Caritas and World Vision Australia support programs in Syria and neighbouring countries that create spaces where children can express their feelings of the past and hopes for the future. The drawings in the ‘Oh Canada’ video are by children in Caritas programs in Damascus, Syria and in World Vision programs in Beirut, Lebanon. Both the global Caritas network and World Vision have helped millions of people affected by the crisis in the Middle East.

Watch the video here;


A refugee cat finds its family in norway

Have you ever seen a refugee cat? Well I have known one recently thanks to Guardian.

According to the Guardian’s story, Kunkush the cat has become a refugee in Norway. Kunkush who separated from its Iraqi family on the way to Europe, was found and fostered in Berlin, where an international online search was co-ordinated in the hope of reuniting him with his family.

What the video ;


Chinese migrants; at the heart of Manchester

Hundreds of Mancunians and Chinese braved the cold and hailstones to celebrate Chinese New Year parade in the heart of Chinatown on February 7. The ritual started with dragon Parade as usual and continued with traditional lion dances,  music and acrobatics, a funfair and fireworks finale.

DSC_0119I had the chance to be around town hall just before the venue starts and see Chinese dance. I liked  it that Chinese have managed to become a very powerful and successful community in the UK and run such a huge festival in Manchester city centre. I have been to Mega Mela which is the largest celebration of South Asian Culture in the North of England, but Mela usually takes place at Plat Field park.

According to Chinese calendar, 2016 is the year of the Monkey. Monkey is ninth of the 12 animals in the recurring 12-year Chinese zodiac cycle. Monkey is a clever animal. It is usually compared to a smart person.

It has also been said that this year is the year of the Fire Monkey. But what that means?

In addition to the twelve year cycle corresponding to each of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac, there are Five Elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) which are associated with their own “life force” or “chi”.This energy blends with the corresponding animal to determine that year’s fortune. In 2016, the corresponding element is fire. Fire is also associated with the color red. Therefore it is the year of the Red Monkey.

Read this to find out what this year will bring us.

Shappi Khorsandi, A refugee who became a comedian

I have been watching  Shappi ( Shaparak)  Khorsandi on youtube tonight. Shappi introduce herself as  “an Iranian refugee”. She and her family were forced to flee from Iran after the Islamic Revolution following the publication of a satirical poem her father composed. He is a well-known comedian in Iran.

Shappi has graduated from the University of Winchester  with a degree in Drama, Theatre and Television, then moving on to pursue a career in comedy. She has won many prizes and one of them for her charity works.  She has also published her book ” A Beginner’s Guide to Acting English” in July 2009. The book describes the way in which young Khorsandi experienced England as a young girl. The narrative begins with her attending  nursery school, The Kings’ International Nursery School, with her brother, Peyvand. Throughout the book, she explains the ways in which the Iranian language differs from English: “They called me ‘poppet’. Iranians said ‘jaan’ or ‘azizam’.” She also expresses pride in how her father took English classes and was praised for his affinity with the written word, though she also felt he was able to be more humorous in Farsi. Other themes include her experiences with English food and customs, the war between Iran and Iraq, and the hostilities that she and her family encounter–she notes, for example, having been referred to as a terrorist.

Watch her selected clip from Apolo