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Speaking for Ourselves

Providing the media’s missing element - Migrant voices amplify faith leaders’ campaign

Providing the media’s missing element - Migrant voices amplify faith leaders’ campaign

MV

 Migrant Voice -
 Migrant Voice - Providing the media’s missing element - Migrant voices amplify faith leaders’ campaign

Faith leaders’ call for Prime Minister Theresa May to enable refugees to bring in family members generated considerable media publicity.

Reports of the 12 September appeal appeared on several TV and radio programmes as well as in newspapers and websites.

Bashar Alkawaret, a pharmacist from the Syrian city of Daraa, was one of the few refugees present at the news conference that unveiled the open letter to May, so he was the focus of much media interest.

A few days before the launch of the appeal he had met journalists at one of Migrant Voice’s “Meet A Migrant” sessions, which promote migrant voices in the media by getting them in a room with selected reporters.

He made a big impact with the story of his escape from Daraa, his blocked attempts to convince officialdom that his wife should be allowed to join him, and his hearttfelt  pleas for reunion:

“I never came for benefits or money: I came because my life was in danger. I am supporting myself, working in a travel agency, and don’t claim any benefits. I feel totally helpless, I am a broken man. The only thing I can say to her is ‘I love you. Wait for me’.”

ITV News screened an interview with him, and BBC Scotland quoted him, Migrant Voice director Nazek Ramadan, and Yussef Bakdalia (“I would rather die there with [my wife and children] than live without them here. What is my life without them?”) in several different programmes. Baldalia, who was one of the Syrians who took part in the Meet A Migrant meeting, also featured in a report by Scotland’s Daily Record.

Other coverage of Alkawaret’s story included reports on The Mail Online; This Is Local London; a Russian news agency, Sputnik News; the Belfast Telegraph; the news section of OneWorld UK, an IT- and media-oriented NGO. An interview with him is also featured on the Migrant Voice website.

Holyrood magazine ran the refugee reunion story with quotes from Nazek Ramadan. Getty Images, one of the world’s biggest photo agencies (representing over 250,00 photographers and content creators) showcased Alkawaret addressing the launch meeting). 

Commented Ramadan: “This media coverage shows the importance of getting migrant voices into the media. If you are writing about women, you would ask women about their experiences. In a story about disability, journalists need to talk to people with disabilities. It’s the same with migrants and refugees.  They are the experts, yet so much is written about them without talking to them and quoting them. We will continue to promote migrant voices in the media.”

Links

Not all broadcasters and publishers give details of programme times and article dates. Information about coverage of the the faith leaders appeal that quotes or pictures migrants is still coming in, and links are often taken down after a short time, especially on news sites, but here are some of the links we have:

Former Archbishop of Canterbury: Government ‘too slow’ in response to refugee crisis

Refugee dad’s torment as Home Office bar him from bringing wife and kids to Scotland 

Refugee response ‘ very slow’, says ex-archbishop amid plea to reunited families

Refugee response ‘ very slow’, says ex-archbishop in response to plea to reunited families

Religious leaders unite to appeal for Britain to help refugees

Refugee response very slow, says ex-archbishop in plea to reunited families

Religious leaders unite to appeal for Britain to help refugees

Refugee response very slow, says ex-archbishop in plea to reunited families

Good morning Scotland