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Posted On: 11th Jan 2017

Helping Communities to Bond

Helping Communities to Bond

A group of teenagers from Leeds are welcoming refugees to the UK with coffee sleeves written in Arabic and English.


The youngsters hope that the sleeves, which were designed by Fixers, will be used in local coffee shops to inspire conversations between strangers.


Shano Khorshed, 18, who immigrated from Iraqi Kurdistan to the UK in 2010, says: ‘When I first arrived here, I couldn’t speak a word of English.


‘I felt lonely and isolated. Even simple things like going to the shop were hard.


‘I felt like I was walking around blindfolded.’


Click on the image below to view the coffee sleeves.




Shano, who was eleven at the time, was the only Kurdish girl in her school.


She says: ‘I couldn’t communicate with anyone and it was a struggle to fit in. I’ve since learned how to speak English but I’ll never forget how difficult that time was.


‘I hope that any refugees reading the coffee sleeves will feel welcome. They might even inspire a conversation between people.’


A variety of phrases translated from English to Arabic covers the sleeves, from ‘I am from’ to ‘What is your name’.


Shano, who is studying A-levels at Elliott Hudson College in Leeds, says: ‘I think there’s a lot of hostility towards immigrants at the moment, particularly those who come from the Middle East.


‘I see a lot of racist comments on social media that say Muslims are terrorists, that we shouldn’t let refugees into the UK because they could be ISIS fighters.


‘We hope that these coffee sleeves will show people that not everyone thinks like that, and help communities in the UK to bond.’


To find other resources on this topic, and watch Fixers films, click on the image below.




Author: Harriet Hernando


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