Welcome Refugees Music Event in Birmingham

Dec 22, 2023

Bringing Communities Together through Traditional Music

On Friday October 20, 2023, the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA),
organised a music event in Birmingham with over 100 people in attendance, including
Birmingham Councillors, the police and many refugees from various backgrounds.
The Afghanistan and Central Asian Association (ACAA), an award-winning British charity
based in London and established in 2000 has pledged its support to helping refugees integrate
in the British community and ease their transition without stripping them of their own cultural
values. The ACAA also runs a wide range of projects all aimed at protecting and empowering
refugees and migrants in the United Kingdom.

This music event was an outcome of a collaboration between the ACAA’s office in London
and Birmingham where members of the London’s office, including the founder, the legal
coordinator and many volunteers, travelled to be part of forging community bonds.
This event’s objective was not merely a representation of Birmingham, but also about
bringing communities together to socialise, develop new connections, and enjoy traditional
music and food of Afghanistan.

The Founder of the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, Dr, Nooralhaq Nasimi MBE.
commenced the night’s first speech with a moment of silence mourning the lives of more than
3,000 people who lost their lives in the recent earthquake in Herat, Afghanistan. Dr. Nasimi, a
refugee himself, expressed his sense of obligation to portray and illustrate the reality and
history of a country where millions of people face starvation, hunger and displacement. He
said, “Afghanistan is the only country in the world where in the 21st century their girls are
banned from schools and their women do not have any voice besides the thousands of
unreported abuses against women.” Then he emphasised the importance of bringing
communities together amidst this isolation and deprivation that the people of Afghanistan
have been enduring.

In addition to being a cultural music event, it was an opportunity to portray the charity’s
values. “This is also an opportunity to show the community what we stand for is unity,
cohesion and supporting ourselves and others to build a better future,” said Dr. Rabia Nasimi.
Dr. R. Nasimi was the moderator of the evening and is the head of ESM Research as well as a
volunteer at the ACAA.

Following Dr. Nasimi’s speech, Darius Nasimi, who is the Head of Funding and
Partnerships at the ACAA, explained the main services of charity which are “to support the
integration of the people of Afghanistan in the UK through a wide range of grassroot services
including English classes for adults, Saturday school for children to help them with school
subjects, legal advice on housing, immigration. ACAA also helps thousands of refugee
women who are victims of domestic violence and runs women’s groups to make sure that

women are part of the society,” explained Darius.
The Councilor, Morriam Jan, reinforced in her speech the council’s unwavering
devotion to supporting refugees. She said, “We all have different backgrounds and life
experiences where our work contributes to a shared set of values and these are equality,
community, liberty, democracy, Internationalism, human rights and environmentalism. Those
values drive what we do and I raised them today because they demonstrate why the welfare of
refugees is important to us.”

The evening continued with the very well-known Afghanistani artist, Yasin Mansuri.
His vibrant traditional Afghanistani music breathed new life into the crowd, inspiring them to
dance and sing along to the lively tunes. Amidst the evening, the audience enjoyed warm,
traditional and delicious food from Afghanistan.

The music event turned out to be a great success where everyone was able to network,
socialise and enjoy the traditional live music and the warm food.

By Malak Al Kasadi

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