Sharing words, reflecting on freedoms

Tea   chat   SRC Sept 2010  c. Jenny Wicks  ongoing use   0001  19

The Glasgow Women’s library event celebrated freedom of expression, explored the lives of imprisoned writers, and highlighted the cruicial work Amnesty International does in support of refugees' human rights.

It was a cosy afternoon and we were treated to some of Scotland's top authors reading the writings of imprisoned or persecuted writers from all over the world. Sara Sheridan, Karen Campbell, Catherine MacPhil and Alice Thompson were the authors taking part in the event.

Scotland's authors share the words of the persecuted

Sara Sheridan spoke about freedom from torture and shared a story called “Yarls Wood” about a refugee named Hana and her experiences when she first came to the UK.

The next reader, Karen Campbell, was a former police officer. She read a piece of writing from a Palestinian woman called “Will I ever grow up again” by Nahida Izzat.

Catherine MacPhil, who has written several books about asylum seekers and refugees, read a work of Mitra, “Two eggcups from home”.  When reflecting on courage, she shared that she could not even imagine how people, especially those with their children, flee their country.  And although hard for her to comprehend - she fully recognised the immense amount of courage required to do so.

The final reader was Alice Thompson who read “Cockroach soup with mouse fillet” by Daroush.  The room fell silent during this captivating reading - her words suddenly filling the room, flying across the women’s library in the middle of the many of books.

Following the readings, we heard about Amnesty International, who celebrated their 50th birthday recently, and their continuing campaign for refugees, such as the right to work and the right to be part of the community.

The asylum system is a long and difficult process - which makes it all the more important that organisations like Amnesty International and Scottish Refugee Council continue to raise awareness and bring about change to improve the lives of refugees in Scotland and elsewhere in the world.

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