Over the years Steve at Refugee Radio has given me more advice and support in running a community organisation than I could ever thank him for, and the extended family of people around the organisation are one of the happy consistencies of life in Brighton. What they do is more than just regular work, it is very much part of the fabric and soul of the city. For many newly arrived people they are a vital friendly face in an uncertain world.
They have a new book and website called Castaway Heritage, and it's a great honour to have a chapter about Jamal, Alaa and our work in the book.
"Castaway Heritage captures the oral histories of 20 individuals which reveal the hidden historical forces driving the growth of the migrant community in Sussex. Through reminiscence and memory, this community interest project delves into the journeys of refugees, asylum seekers, workers and supporters who are trying to navigate assimilation in a space of social uncertainty."
There was a launch event at a favourite local venue Marwood Cafe on the 19th December, which included a reading from Steve and music from local musicians Jamal, Mais, Gaith and Sharma.
It's a testament to the work of Refugee Radio and all those involved, that the event was well attended by so many people who they've worked with as an organisation, and that those people clearly are part of a community of friends and family. Thanks to everyone involved for all their work in this project, that captures a vital slice of life in Brighton and Sussex.
Please do visit the website and check the book out, its available online, or locally in the Amnesty Book Shop, or City Books.
Below is a short clip from Steve's intro, and a song with Sharma (vocals in Aramaic) with Jamal on percussion.