Refugees in Scotland tell moving stories on our very first Refugee Week blog

Refugees in Scotland tell moving stories on our very first Refugee Week blog


Refugee Week Scotland is now in full swing – and it’s our biggest ever!

A huge range of arts, music, food, film and sport events continue across Scotland to celebrate the contribution refugees have made to Scotland and the UK – culminating on World Refugee Day, Sunday 20 June. The event this year is themed around ‘Journeys’.

And refugee bloggers have been getting in on the action by telling us about their own moving journeys on our very first Refugee Week Scotland blog, ‘It’s all about the Journey’.

You can see the blog here:

One writer,Bel’ka, posts about his journey from warfare and fear to safety in Scotland:

‘After being abused, mistreated, arrested and enduring a long, traumatic period by the people in power in my native country, my wife and I made our mind up to seek an unknown, safer place to live.... The agent suggested to us the possibility to arrange our journey with our two children to the UK in 2006, one of the rare countries with a long and real democratic background for centuries in the world...’

Belinda McElhinney, Refugee Week Scotland Co-ordinator, said: “This is an exciting festival which is growing every year. We’re so excited to see refugees, event organisers and participants telling their stories directly through our new blog. 

“The theme for Refugee Week Scotland is Journeys and this subject has inspired some exciting work.  It has also created this great opportunity for us to celebrate Scotland’s cultural diversity and its journey as a place of sanctuary for refugees from all over the world. Scotland is rightly proud of its ability to offer that.”

Highlights this week programme include:


  • Roadkill: A Tron Theatre and Ankur Productions collaboration, in association with Scottish Refugee Council. A world premiere of this arresting new site specific work about a young woman trafficked to Glasgow. Directed by acclaimed actor/director/musician Cora Bissett. Catch it on its way to great things at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Runs until Saturday 19 June


  • Back and Forth and Hope (is a thing with feathers)

A stunning double bill at the Tron Theatre created with professional directors, dancers and producers in collaboration with a cast of asylum seekers and refugees. These vibrant productions explore the journeys refugees make through dance, drama and song. Hope (is a thing with feathers) developed in Sri Lanka and Scotland is also complemented by a photo exhibition at the Glasgow Film Theatre, which runs throughout the week.

Saturday 19 June, Tron Theatre, 8pm


  • Talking About Jane Austen in Bagdad: Would you brave gun-toting militias for a cut and blow-dry? Meet authors May Witwit and Bee Rowlatt and hear the real story of their unlikely friendship and the plan they hatched to help May escape the bombings of Baghdad.

Thursday 17 June, Mitchell Library, 6pm


  • My Bit: A new show by Ankur Productions, PANGAA Project and the award winning Ignite theatre explores the joys and fears of living in Glasgow using music and movement.  Performed by a talented and international young cast.

Thursday 17 June, Tron Theatre, 2pm and 7,30pm


  • Refugee Week Football Tournament: Scotland might not be taking part in the World Cup, but you can come and cheer on your local five-a-side team in this vibrant celebration of the beautiful game. Participants from Scotland and all over the world – all now living in Glasgow – battle it out on Glasgow Green to win the trophy.

Saturday 19 June, Glasgow Green,


Read about our journey on the Refugee Week Scotland blog:

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For the full listings information go to or contact media officers Clare Harris or Karin Goodwin on 0141 223 7927/07734 030 763



Notes to editors


  1. Refugee Week Scotland is co-ordinated by Scottish Refugee Council.


  1. Refugee Week  is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. Refugee Week 2010 will take place from June 14 to 20.


  1. The purpose of Refugee Week is to deliver positive educational messages that counter fear, ignorance and negative stereotypes of refugees, through arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and promote understanding about the reasons why people seek sanctuary.


Refugee Week was first held in 1998, and was created in response to the increasingly negative perceptions of refugees and asylum seekers held by the general public in Britain. It remains the only UK-wide event that promotes the importance of sanctuary and the benefits it can bring to both refugees and host communities.