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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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.

In fighting Islamic State and Assad, Britain cannot forget their victims

According to David Cameron, the aim of British involvement in Iraq and Syria would be to stabilise the area. This of course, in the short term, means the defeat of the Islamic State and a resolution to the conflict in Syria. It appears to be vitally important to our government that this particular area returns to some semblance of calm. …

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Politicians scared of toxic immigration debate

  Political attitudes to immigration can be toxic. Cases like the Minister of State for Immigration going on national television to tell an Iraqi asylum seeker to leave the UK; the Home Office’s controversial ‘Go Home’ vans which spent a week parading the streets of London; gay and lesbian people told they had to “prove” their sexuality. Even as the …

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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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Immigration Bill 2013/14

The Immigration Bill 2013/14 is now available to view on the Home Office website. The Bill aims to make it much more difficult for migrants to settle in the UK with the changes seriously affecting the social and legal rights of asylum seekers. Part one of the Bill, as well as Schedules one and two, enlarges state powers to search …

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Interview with Fabian Hamilton MP at City of Sanctuary Leeds Launch

Interview with Fabian Hamilton MP at City of Sanctuary Leeds Launch STAR: What made you return from London to this particular event and why is it important for you? FH: Firstly because Tiffy Allen who is a fantastic woman and does so much, came to see me a number of times about City of Sanctuary; secondly because this is a …

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