Local refugee contribution to Glasgow celebrated by Jo

Jo Swinson and Mickey Saad in Parliament

Mickey Saad has established a music collective to work with young people in Glasgow

Mickey Saad has established a music collective to work with young people in Glasgow

The contribution made by local refugee Mickey Saad to Glasgow has been recognised by Jo Swinson at an event at the House of Commons to mark Refugee Week.

Mickey, a musician from Govanhill, was invited to Parliament to meet Jo, in recognition of his contribution since coming to the UK as a refugee.

Mickey said:

“It was a great opportunity to come to parliament and meet the MPs, and I thank Jo Swinson for her time. It was also encouraging to meet other refugees from across the UK who have achieved so much in their communities.

“Refugee Week is a time to recognise these achievements and to overcome the myths about refugees. It is about sharing our culture and strengthening integration.

“Meeting with MPs is really important to ensure that they get to hear the real refugee stories behind the headlines. This is the point of my community work with young people in Scotland. I do music workshops with young kids through Fugees United, a collective of refugees and Scots. Music is universal and we can all connect through that. The young people can then go back to their friends and tell them about refugees, and that we all have more in common than sets us apart.”

Jo said:

“Mickey has an inspiring story to tell. Arriving in Scotland from Somalia four years ago, he has made Glasgow his home and continues to make a positive impact in his community through the music collective he has established.

“Mickey, and others like him, challenge our preconceptions about refugees and the contribution they can bring to our society.”

Donna Covey, Chief Executive of the Refugee Council, said:

“Refugees have made a massive cultural, social and economic contribution to life in the UK in the last 450 years. Many famous household names are evidence of the presence of refugees: Marks & Spencers, fish and chips, and even the Mini. It is right that during Refugee Week politicians take the opportunity to celebrate the positive contribution made by refugees to their communities.”

Refugee Week is a UK-wide programme of arts, cultural and educational events that celebrate the contribution of refugees to the UK, and encourages a better understanding between communities. The event in Westminster was organised by the Refugee Council, the UK’s leading refugee charity, and the All Party Parliamentary Group on Refugees, a cross-party group of MPs and Peers who work on refugee issues.

Every year during Refugee Week hundreds of events are organised across the UK. In 2006, there were over 450 small and large events, ranging from big music festivals and art exhibitions to political debates, film screenings, conferences, school activities, sports and community events.

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