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Let there be Light! Nour Festival offers hope in creativity
Oct18

Let there be Light! Nour Festival offers hope in creativity

London’s annual Nour Festival returns to the multicultural metropolis 20 October-6 November 2016, promising to highlight “the best of contemporary arts and culture from the Middle East and North Africa.” Sadly the festival’s overarching mission is challenged and overshadowed by unprecedented turmoil and fragmentation in the region it celebrates and  showcases. As the five-year-old festival’s audiences...

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London conference aims to counter apathy to war on Yemen
Aug16

London conference aims to counter apathy to war on Yemen

A coalition of non-government organisations active in Yemen and outside the embattled country will meet in London 20-21 August 2016 to counter a lack of international diplomatic and news media response to the continuing deaths and displacement of innocent civilians in the conflict in Yemen. Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Arab and non-Arab forces in a military operation it argues is a response to military operations that Riyadh...

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Art generation: Bahrain showcases ‘art across borders’
May20

Art generation: Bahrain showcases ‘art across borders’

The minuscule state of Bahrain, morphed from an emirate into a kingdom 14 years ago,  is striking out to win international recognition for its own home-grown contemporary art scene on the heels of last year’s commercial fair initiative, ArtBahrain. In what evidently is the next instalment of that effort, 17 artists will show their work in a London exhibition, Bahrain Art Across Borders, which abbreviates neatly as BAAB or baab,...

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Child refugees in Europe ‘falling between cracks’
May09

Child refugees in Europe ‘falling between cracks’

A record 96,500 unaccompanied refugee and migrant children applied for asylum across Europe in 2015, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said citing new data and calling for urgent measures to protect these children from the serious risks of abuse, exploitation and trafficking. “Unaccompanied children are falling between the cracks,” said Marie Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant crisis in...

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But is EU listening? Greece-Turkey refugee transfers beset by gross violations
Apr15

But is EU listening? Greece-Turkey refugee transfers beset by gross violations

Arbitrary transfers of refugees and migrants from Greece to Turkey need to be stopped amid the growing fears of human rights violations, but whether European Union leaders are heeding calls for reform isn’t at all clear. The deportations of refugees and migrants from Greece to Turkey must be halted immediately and people wanting to seek asylum should not be kept in detention, said Oxfam, Norwegian Refugee Council and...

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British Council aids MENA youth vocational project
Mar06

British Council aids MENA youth vocational project

  The British Council and HSBC will aid a youth ‘skills for learning, life and work’ programme aimed at 15-16-year-olds in eight countries of the Middle East and North Africa region. Addressing youth employability in MENA is a pressing challenge, an announcement [6 March 2016] on the launch of the programme said. That challenge, it said, requires government, education institutions and business to come together to...

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