We are extremeley fortunate to platform a three part series focussing on ‘Women in the Refugee Crisis’ by Tazeen Ahmad the founder of Humanity’s Heart , an organisation that was born following a volunteering trip by a small group of people to Calais (The Jungle) in June 2016. Travelling through Calais, Lebanon and Greece, Humanity’s Heart witnesses and shares the experiences of refugees, volunteers, spiritual leaders, politicians and local citizens in what is the biggest challenge the world has faced for over 60 years. The first part in the series reflected on why women turn up to volunteer through a series of short films. The second part in the series, below focusses on the transformation refugees and volunteers alike, undergo after meeting during the crisis, and highlights the importance of Refugee week.
Resilience Met With Support
Meet Syrian born Rahaf Sallouta. She arrived in the UK when she was 27 with her husband and 2 kids. Rahaf has enormous gratitude to women such as Maria Wilby and Iman Mortagy from Refugee Action Colchester for their service and support.
Through her we learn the counter narrative to mainstream rhetoric on immigration. Rahaf, shares the importance of the events held by Refugee Action Colchester and the opportunities they present to help dispel the perceptions towards Syrian refugees/migrants. She reminds us all how refugees want to contribute towards society not hinder it. Rahaf’s example of resilience is phenomenal as she climbed a mountain of cultural shock and language differences on top of the upheavel of having to leave a home and country destroyed by war.
In fact, Rahaf’s experience and hardship has fuelled her desire to want to help other Syrians and refugees who have gone through similar experiences.
Today her husband and her run a café in Colchester providing falafels and other Syrian delights to the local community. (see the image above)
What is also beautiful to witness is the counter narrative of deep friendship and love that develops between citizens of host nations and the refugees coming to seek refuge.
Aleppo stands destroyed (the photo in the background above the couple’s heads), however I couldn’t help but wonder could this crisis be what 13th – century Persian poet Rumi means when he says, “the wound is where the light enters?”
By Tazeen Ahmad
Tazeen is founder and producer of Humanity’s Heart. She is a daughter of a migrant, a British Citizen, a mother of two and a believer in the power of humanity. In June 2016, she traveled to Calais. The trip confirmed for her that we have far more in common than which divides us.
It also raised in her a deep curiosity about ‘what motivates others to turn up and serve?’. And ‘what spiritual lessons to humanity are emerging in the largest crisis since WWII?’ It was at that moment, she realised her background in broadcast journalism and finance, fundraising and philanthropy could be put to use. So humanity’s heart was born. She will be running a “How to make a documentary film workshop in June here is the link for the documentary workshop https://www.tazeendhunna.com/media-consultancy/howtomakeadocumentary
Disclaimer: the opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the original author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.