The look of respect

“I didn’t like the dynamics of them being against the wall again and me, with my massive camera, subjecting them to my gaze.” Nana Varveropoulou, the Guardian. Before the big story broke (in Europe) of millions of people displaced from their homes, trudging towards countries where the rule of law, democracy and human rights are mostly upheld; Before the terrible …

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Hundreds Welcome Refugees in Leeds

#refugeeswelcome – the Public Meeting at West Yorkshire Playhouse, 15th September 2015 On Tuesday night, a couple of hundred citizens of Leeds pitched up to the West Yorkshire Playhouse to find out how they could respond to the Refugee Crisis unfolding in Europe.The event was organised by Leeds City of Sanctuary, with help fromTogether for Peace, Migration Yorkshire and  Leeds …

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We’re the same

We’re the same you and me.

You leave Homs – I leave home.

We both get caught in a queue.

It’s the M1 that brings me to a halt.

My air-conditioning drowning the DJ.

I’m snarled, and angry, fighting for a lane.

For you it’s the border that brings you to a stop.

Armed guards shouting and pointing you back.

You’re starved, and scared, fighting for a life.


We’re the same you and me.

You flee to save your life.

I live on what I’ve saved.

You’re a migrant escaping the pain.

I’m an ex-pat avoiding the rain.

You take nothing – everything left behind.

I bring essentials – tea, marmite, marmalade.


We’re the same you and me.

But I’m worth more – I have so much.

So I’m building a wall to keep me safe.

Around my house securing my place.

A border to keep you out.

Surrounding my country.

Surrounding my wealth.

We’re the same you and me.

But I’m worth more

so you keep out.


If you are rich and attractive to others, you also have to be strong because if not, they will take away what you have worked for and you will be poor, too.
Hungary’s prime minister, Viktor Orbán. Guardian, 5 September 2015

Alternatively, here are 6 things you can do to help refugees if you live in Leeds.

Bringing the World to Leeds

Three highly skilled photographers have captured inspiring images of Leeds with award their winning pictures as part of the One World Leeds photography competition. First prize goes to Paul Dishman for his photograph taken during Leeds Light Night. Paul’s colourful performer contrasted against the stark silhouette of Leeds Town Hall at sunset wowed the judges. You can find out more …

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Have you got a story to tell?

Contributions for the printed OWL magazine are now closed (unless you quickly send something and it happens to fill a gap). There’s still time to enter the photography competition and we are always open for contributions to the website. If you have something suitable then please email it to the editor @ ———————————————————————- We are currently seeking contributions for the final …

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Syria Speaks! in Bradford

The critic and novelist Robin Yassin-Kassab said that, in a way, it is less depressing being in Syria or just across the boarder, than over here because individual lives are being revolutionized; every single man, woman and child has an horrifying story to tell but still, people have stayed on, working under very dangerous circumstances giving hope to the future. …

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The Daily Mail – our new best friend?

As the director of Leeds Asylum Seeker Support Network, I get a lot of emails from people: people offering their help and support, wanting information about what we do, even the occasional opportunity to earn ££££s in my spare time. This one was offering to sell us Banner Adverts for LASSN on the Daily Mail website, for £495. I laughed …

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One World Leeds magazine – winter 2013/14 edition

One World Leeds Magazine – Winter 2013-14 Challenging negative perceptions of refugees The new Immigration Bill – tip of the iceberg An asylum seeker is shattered but steadfast A journey into Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre English at Home – a formula for integration Inertia in Odyssey (a poem) Sports and leisure

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Free Radio Training for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

Radio in a day Saturday 25th January One Community Centre 10.00 – 4.00 Join Leeds Press Gang for a fantastic free training day (equivalent courses charge £90)that will equip you to get involved with community radio and produce your own radio shows. Book now – only five spaces remaining for refugees and asylum seekers If you are interested please email Hannah at The …

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