A possie in Aussie

December 11, 2009

Lebanese, Vietnamese or Sudanese? We don’t want your business.

Filed under: African,race relations,racism — Nayano @ 7:56 am
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Notes from the pointy end of settlement:

Speaking with an insurance salesman yesterday who is interested in selling to new settlers:

‘We are also obliged to manage our risk. That means evaluating clients as well as property.

For example, head office has told me not to sell to Lebanese, Vietnamese or Sudanese.’

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November 17, 2009

Need high tech assistance? Try a refugee camp!

Filed under: African,refugee — Nayano @ 4:56 pm
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Refugees in Dadaab’s camps are crammed in to spaces meant for only one third of the actual population, most don’t have jobs – they can’t get work permits under Kenyan law- and boys are often recruited to become pirates and child soldiers.

And now some of them are earning money with internet-based jobs such as searches, transcription, virtual assistance and app testing, on computers rigged to withstand the heat and dust that permeate the refugee camps. Simple idea – great potential.

Samasource is a non-profit organization that outsources web-based jobs to women, youth, and refugees living in poverty. 520 workers in six third world countries are now working with Samasource.

You can hire a worker or donate to Samasource on their web site, or download the Give Work iPhone app to play a fun solitaire-meets-trivia type of game that helps Samasource-affiliated workers make a few bucks.

November 15, 2009

Australia’s only Sudanese Stand-up Comedian

Filed under: African,humor,humour,refugee — Nayano @ 7:18 am
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This is the second time Sunday Funday has featured Australia’s only Sudanese Stand-up Comedian, Mujahid Ahmed, who lives in my home town and works for the agency I work for (lucky us!).

Enjoy. I particularly liked the very last line!


October 29, 2009

Sudanese stabbed and media skewered

Filed under: African,media,racism,refugee — Nayano @ 7:25 am
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A young Sudanese man was murdered in an Adelaide suburb a couple of days ago.

There’s a PhD waiting for someone in analysing the news reports.

First I heard of it was through ABC radio news:

“A group of Sudanese men were sitting on an oval on Eastern Parade at about 4:30pm when they were attacked by about half a dozen other young men armed with knives and baseball bats.” Fatal brawl treated as murder

I assumed that the ‘other young men’ were Sudanese too. (Me! I thought that I was too sensitive to racial reporting in the media to be sucked in!!)

The next reports were through the Adelaide Advertiser. The first report I read excluded all mention of race – perpetrator, victim or otherwise.

Later that day in the Advertiser the victim became ‘African’ and the attackers ‘white’.

The latest reports have the victims (now 2) as Sudanese, and the perpetrators stripped of any descriptors. Six people to face court over Ottoway killing of Akol Akok

I reckon that this is going to lodge in the public consciousness as ‘another’ Sudanese murder, like the killing of Daniel Awak. Never mind the hundreds of murders that have taken place in the meantime that have not involved Sudanese.

And I dread the slow news summer months, and return of the so-called ‘experts’ who try to make their names through misinformed and misleading comments about Sudanese youth. A stab in the dark

September 29, 2009

Can you picture all these asylum seekers?

Filed under: asylum,asylum seeker,boat people,refugee — Nayano @ 8:10 am
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Yes, South Africa had over 200,000 applications for asylum last year – roughly one quarter of all those in the world. 2008 Global Trends: Refugees, Asylum-seekers, Returnees, Internally Displaced and Stateless Persons

So, should Australia panic over the number of asylum seekers who have arrived here by boat this year – about 1,300? Nearly 1,500 boat people: should we worry?

I think that this graphic equals many volumes of words.

asylum-seekers-xlsx

(Thanks to Ranking America for this graphic)

September 11, 2009

Australian public critical of negative reporting of Islamic and Sudanese communities

Filed under: African,human rights,Integration,media — Nayano @ 10:33 am
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New research shows that Australians define ‘Australianness’ by behaviour rather than through ethnic origins.

‘Australian’ behaviour is defined as obeying the law, respecting others, integrating within communities and developing a working knowledge of English.

These findings come from a group of surveys conducted in metropolitan and regional Victoria by a team from Monash University.

In commenting on the report, Laurie Ferguson, Parliamentary Secretary for  Multicultural Affairs and Settlement Services said ‘The vast majority of participants believe that multiculturalism enhances Australia economically, socially and culturally’. Report shows strong support for multicultural Australia

The Australian Multicultural Advisory Council and Australian Government will use the report, Perceptions of Multiculturalism and Security in Victoria, in the development of new cultural diversity policies.

Participants approved of the diversity in Australia and see the Australian identity as fluid and dynamic, and indicated a preference for a whole-of-community perspective on issues and solutions.

(For our report of Sudanese refugees contributing to whole-of-community solutions, see Successful Sudanese settlement: a report that is not boring!)

The research also uncovered some areas of public concern.

‘Generally participants were very critical of the way the media portrays minority groups such as the Islamic and Sudanese communities,’ Mr Ferguson said.

‘In addition, some people expressed concern that some migrants do not properly integrate into Australian communities, and that settlement services should focus even more on building social inclusion.’

July 24, 2009

Whole lives lost in shoddy, degrading refugee camps

Many refugees spend an entire lifetime in a refugee camp.

The recently released World Refugee Survey shows that millions of refugees spend anywhere from 10 to 60 years in

“shoddy, degrading refugee camps, where they are unable to move freely, work to support their families, or live anything resembling a normal life.

“In some cases children are born, live, and die in a refugee camp.

8,177,800 refugees have been in refugee camps for 10 years or more.

These camps are generally in very poor countries.

Nations with per capita income of less than $2,000 host half of all the refugees in the world.

Médecins Sans Frontières’ will set up a 1000 square-metre replica camp in Adelaide’s Victoria Square from Sunday 20 to Sunday 27 September 2009, 9am to 5pm daily, to give people the chance to walk into a camp site modelled on refugee camps in countries such as Chad and Sudan.

Experienced field staff will be on-hand at the camp to lead the guided tours and tell their stories about refugee camp life and the vulnerability of life for people who have fled their homes.

Field staff will also be available to talk to people interested in working for Médecins Sans Frontières at information nights held in Adelaide on Wednesday 23 September and in Melbourne on Thursday 15 October.

May 21, 2009

War child: “Left home at the age of seven/one year later I’m carryin’ an Ak-47.”

Filed under: African,asylum,asylum seeker,media,refugee — Nayano @ 10:16 am
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Emmanuel Jal, an ex-child soldier turned rap artist is in Australia at present. He is one of the Lost Boys of Sudan, whose parents were killed, ended up in a refugee camp and we taken as a boy soldier at the age of eight. His story is similar to many other Sudanese Australians.

He has begun to come to terms with his years as a child soldier  through his  music

“Left home at the age of seven/one year later I’m carryin’ an Ak-47.”,

a film and now his biography,

You can listen to an interview with Emmanuel on ABC Radio National

You can see a trailer of his movie, War Child, at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0402tJk3g5U

Emmanuel has founded a charity, GUA Africa, that works with individuals, families and communities to help them overcome the effects of war and poverty

April 23, 2009

Sudan and Cuba join Ahmadinejad in teaching human rights (gasp!)

Filed under: anti-Semitism,human rights,race relations — Nayano @ 8:15 am
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I reckon the Durban II ‘anti’ racism conference must have been a gasp-fest.

Gasp one – Ahmadinejad’s old-fashioned Jew-hating diatribe

Gasp twoCuba claimed that “all Cubans, men and women, with no exception enjoy the same rights without discrimination of any kind.” As Corner points out, this may even be true, considering that they enjoy very few rights at all.

Gasp three – Sudan claimed that they reject all forms of racism and discrimination – perhaps they exclude genocide from ‘forms of racism and discrimination’?

March 24, 2009

African migrants: daring to hope

Filed under: African,human rights,refugee — Nayano @ 6:40 am
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I draw your attention to an article in the Australian, ‘New home, new hope’ by Drew Warne-Smith on March 23, 2009.

Drew reminds us of the so-called brawl in the Melbourne suburb of Flemington in 2007, when

“a police van on a routine patrol of Flemington, in Melbourne’s inner north, was hit by a rock as it passed a public housing estate on Racecourse Road. The estate, a series of high-rise blocks wedged between the M2 overpass and Flemington Hill, is home to a largely migrant community of about 5000, many of them African refugees. The police did a U-turn and entered the grounds, where they approached an 18-year-old Eritrean, Mubarek Mussa. But on a night when yet another grim chapter would be written in the story of African resettlement in Australia, what happened next depends on whom you ask.

Police say Mussa became “abusive” when questioned, so they arrested him. Another African teenager then “attacked” them, so they arrested him too. And when hordes of residents flooded out of the flats and surrounded police – a threatening crowd that swelled within minutes to more than 100, many trying to free the boys – the officers called for back-up.”

Drew goes to Flemington and interviews people from the largest African Australian group there, the Somalis.

These are fine interviews, well worth reading.

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