We all know what a refugee is - a person recognised to have a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.
But what do these abstractions mean in practice? What could lead someone to leave their home, family, and friends and make a dangerous journey to seek refuge in a strange and hostile country?
This special session will try to fill in some of these blanks, and make the word refugee more of a story and less of a legal designation.
NAHAR will explore some of the “push factors” that operate in Sudan right now to make it necessary for many Sudanese to seek refuge in other countries, and put these in the context of Sudan’s colonial history. He’ll talk about how identity and diversity have been used to unite and to divide Sudanese communities, and why violence has become such a common feature of life.
AHLAM will talk about the Somali refugee experience in different countries with some stories and poems about the reasonable fear of persecution, racism, traveling out of necessity rather than for a holiday, and about what drives people to take the risk of crossing the sea to seek safety in Australia.