This Thursday, the 23rd February, Cardiff University’s branch of Student Action for Refugees is holding its annual event – Refugee Rhythms. Last year’s event was attended by over 500 people and won the Cardiff University award for ‘Best Large Event of the year. This year the society hopes the event will be its largest yet. Cardiff Student’s Union Bar, Y Plas will host up to 1500 guests to join in the celebrations. Popular local DJ’s Bump and Grind and Blue Honey are performing as well as Sounds of Harlowe and Bristol band Helele. Many refugee and asylum seeker acts will also debut. One such act are the Alsaher Brothers, three brothers from Syria, the youngest just 18, who now live and study in Cardiff, they will perform traditional Arabic music.
As well as the music the event promises an array of Middle Eastern food, including fresh falafel, hummus, samosas, and manakish. It is also an opportunity for Refugees, Asylum seekers, Students and the local Cardiff community to mix and enjoy a really unique evening together.
STAR, the society hosting the event, is made up of almost 100 students from Cardiff University; they run a weekly English Conversation club at the Trinity centre on Newport Road, for students to socialise with refugees and asylum seekers and campaign on campus for universities to provide equal fees, access, and support to asylum seekers and refugees.
Michael Hatcher, President of the society said: ‘refugees who have just arrived into the UK often feel isolated, lonely and extremely vulnerable. Refugee Rhythms is a unique opportunity for new residents to meet and make friends, whilst also giving the local public a chance to experience food, music, dancing and culture from around the world.’
‘It’s also a great opportunity to highlight to Refugees and Asylum seekers that come to Cardiff that they are welcome in Cardiff.’
All the money raised goes directly to funding local projects in Cardiff to help people who are seeking safety.