Ambassadors at Scottish Refugee Council

 

Scottish Refugee Council ambassadors are recognised leaders in their fields who use their position and influence to support our cause of building a better future with refugees in Scotland. Ambassadors promote Scottish Refugee Council’s work and inspire others to support our mission.  

 

Omar Hasan, MRCP, Consultant Cardiologist, Inverclyde Royal Hospital (NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dr. Omar Hasan was born in Iraq and studied medicine in Baghdad. He has been practising medicine in the UK since 2005 where he started specialising in cardiology. He moved to his current position in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde in August 2015. 

Dr. Hasan came to the UK in 2003 as a refugee at the outbreak of the Iraq war and personally experienced the bureaucracies and hurdles of the refugee and asylum system. Two years later he was eventually granted leave to remain, based on a work permit visa application. 

Through his own experience and that of others, Dr. Hasan was acutely conscious of the shortcomings of the asylum system in the UK. He accessed personally the services of SRC and through that contact became aware of the work both Scottish Refugee Council and other charities are undertaking to help refugees and asylum seekers upon their arrival to the UK, supporting them throughout their journey to ensure a smooth and full integration into society.

In 2016, Dr. Hasan became the Scottish Refugee Council’s first Ambassador and has since been able to use his position to give voice to the difficulties refugees face throughout their journeys and to highlight their positive contributions and aspirations within society. 

In Omar’s words

‘’ From the first few days of my arrival to the Glasgow, Scottish Refugee Council has been a home to me. The help and support I received have helped me go through the difficulties I faced through the asylum system.’’

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Amal Azzudin, BA Community Development; MSc Human Rights and International Politics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Born in Somalia, Amal has a BA in Community Development and an MSc in Human Rights and International Politics. She currently works with Mental Health Foundation in the role of Equality and Human Rights Officer (Refugees)

Amal is known as a passionate human rights campaigner. Within the Mental Health Foundation, she takes responsibility for the Amaan project and the development and delivery of new and innovative work with asylum seekers and refugees.

In 2016, Amal was named as one of the Saltire Society's Outstanding Women of Scotland, alongside such illustrious company as JK Rowling and Annie Lennox.

Amal is well known as one of the Glasgow Girls, a group of seven school girls from Drumchapel High School who campaigned to stand up against dawn raids, detention and deportation of asylum seekers in Glasgow. The Glasgow Girls story has since been turned into two BBC documentaries, a stage musical and a television musical drama.

Amal has visited refugees in Greece and Calais and is frequently engaged as a speaker at different events, raising awareness on refugee issues.

In Amal's words

'As a passionate activist on refugee issues, I have previously supported the work during Refugee Festival Scotland and other events. Scottish Refugee Council staff also knows me through joint working with Mental Health Foundation – Sanctuary Steering group.'

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Amanda McMillan, Chief Executive AGS Airports Limited

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amanda McMillan was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton (AGS) Airports Limited in December 2014 following the sale of the three airports to Ferrovial and Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets (MIRA) from Heathrow Airport Holdings.

A qualified Chartered Accountant, Ms McMillan is responsible for leading and developing a high profile, national business that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and supports over 8,200 jobs.

In addition to her role as CEO, Amanda is also the Managing Director of Glasgow Airport – a position she has held since 2008 after joining what was then BAA in October 2005.  Prior to that, Amanda also worked for worldwide drinks business Diageo, and global accountancy firm KPMG.

In June 2013, Amanda received an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in recognition of services to business and tourism.  Her success as Managing Director was further recognised in 2016 when Glasgow Airport picked up three major industry accolades - Scottish Airport of the Year, the Airport Operators Association’s (AOA) Best Airport (3-10 Million Passengers) and Airport Council International (ACI) Europe’s Best Airport (5-10 Million Passengers). 

Amanda is keen to support refugees arriving in Scotland. She visited our offices to explore our role and had a chance to speak to the families of the Family key work service.

In Amanda's words

‘ My warmest thanks to you and Esther for both the time you spent with me and the fascinating insight into the work of Scottish Refugee Council.  It was great to see inside your world and meet some of the people your work is helping; truly inspirational.  As I said my visit strengthened my resolve to help in the best way I can ' .

 In the meantime keep doing what you are doing; you are clearly touching people’s lives in a profound way.

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Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alison is UNESCO Chair for Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts and Professor of Languages and Intercultural Studies at the University of Glasgow where she co-convenes Glasgow Refugee Asylum and Migration Network.

She is a passionate advocate for refugees and asylum seekers and blends her academic research and teaching with her activism and public work. She has held a long interest in ways in which communities of established and new arrivals can create a joint sense of belonging and joint sense of integration by being involved in creative activities. She first researched this in her PhD in southern Germany after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and during the Balkans war and refugee arrivals from that conflict.

After working to establish an International Academic Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication (2000) she turned back to volunteering and became a visitor with Scottish Detainee Visitors (2005), and then a volunteer host with Positive Action in Housing (2007).  With Professor Rebecca Kay, in 2009 she established GRAMNet at the University of Glasgow. In 2017 she took up the UNESCO professorship, the first in the world, in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts. Here she also partners with the contexts outwith the media ‘hotspots’, where it has been possible for large numbers of refugees to arrive, integrate and live harmoniously and without the fear and xenophobia which has been experienced in recent years in the UK.

She is particularly concerned with the experiences of women and young people, and separated families in the asylum system and in the precarious journeys made to seek safety.

She has worked in many countries worldwide, through many languages, as a leading researcher and has a strong international community experience. She meets the same issues and the same resilience wherever she travels and now engages regularly as a public intellectual with media and policy discussions whilst at the same time being fully committed to living with those who are newly arrived and in need of a place to call home, and call family.

Alison is a member of the Iona Community, a poet and public speaker as well as a public intellectual. She is well known to the advocacy and activist communities working with and alongside new arrivals, refugees and asylum seekers in Scotland.

In Alison’s words

I’m delighted to be able to serve in the capacity of ambassador for Scottish Refugee Council. It is a genuine privilege to work with an organisation which strives for mutual integration and respect for those caught up in precarious legal and humanitarian situations.

“As a foster parent to my daughter who came to Scotland as an unaccompanied minor from Eritrea, I’ve experienced first-hand what it means to live within the refugee and asylum systems. I have seen what it means to live through the agony of family separation, detention, destitution, eviction, drowning, captivity and of mourning those who are lost on the journey and to the systems of detention and destitution.

“But, I’ve also learned of the ways in which communities of New Scots flourish, celebrate the lives they have and the family connections they can establish here and how much we have to learn about living interculturally and multilingually .'

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