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Welcome to our 7th fortnightly newsletter!

It was lovely to break fast with some of you and meet your friends at the Open Iftar on May 17th.  Don't forget to wish your friend happy Eid Al Fitr if they are a practising Muslim on the 4th June. 

There is an Eid festival in Trafalgar Square on June 8th open to all (link under things to do at the bottom of the newsletter). 

It can be hard making plans and meeting up when your friend is fasting so hopefully things will be easier once Ramadan is over for another year. 

Here we are taking our places in the Ramadan Tent. 


Many of you have probably heard the story of the Pianist of Yarmouk - Ayham Ahmad - and his journey to Europe.  There is a book to be followed by a film but this short youtube film is worth watching as a moving testament to his courage and resilience in the face of war and persecution.

Another very moving memoir is Hisham Matar's story of a family torn apart by the brutal dictatorship in Libya The Return, winner of the Folio Prize and the Pulitzer Prize for biography.  Rossana recommended it to me and I'm recommending it to you!

And for our foodie friends the next Welcome Cinema + Kitchen film event is SOUFRA.  Welcome Cinema + Kitchen is a monthly film screening and supper club - uniting Londoners of different backgrounds through film, food & friendship. You buy a ticket for the film, a fabulous meal cooked by refugee chefs, a post-film Q&A and your refugee friend goes for free.

SOUFRA follows the unlikely, inspirational story of intrepid social entrepreneur, Mariam Shaar – a generational refugee who has spent her entire life in the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp just south of Beirut, Lebanon. Mariam sets out against all odds to change her fate by launching a successful catering company, “Soufra”. In the process, she breaks barriers, pulling together Syrian, Iraqi, Palestinian and Lebanese women to work side by side and form beautiful friendships while running this thriving business.

The Q&A will be the refugee chefs in conversation with Asma Khan of Darjeeling Express. Thursday 20th June at Amnesty International in Shoreditch. Doors at 6:00pm, food at 6:30, film at 7:30, Q+A at 9:30. Book tickets here

June 17-23 is Refugee Week...

And there will be literally hundred's of events all over London to celebrate refugees and their contribution. There are twelve pages of events in London across the month (from 6th-28th June) listed on the Refugee Week website.  Do take the time to scroll through as I'm sure you'll find events that would interest your friend.

HostNation/Arsenal football tournament
And at HostNation we are putting together a refugee 7-a-side football team to take part in the football tournament being organised by Arsenal Football Club during Refugee Week - on Friday 21st of June to be precise.  If any of your friends are keen on football (whatever their age, they just need to be over 18) then do encourage them to take part.  Lovely if our befrienders can join in too, but that may be tricky given it's a Friday. It will take place at Market Road N7 9PL between 11am - 4.30pm where Arsenal will have 3 pitches running.  Anthony Berman will be hosting our team or teams (if we have more than 7).  Please get in touch with  Anthony at if your friend is interested. 

If any of you have friends who are natural comedians, Camden People’s Theatre, Counterpoints Arts and award-winning comedian Tom Parry have been running a unique new course for aspiring comics from refugee and migrant backgrounds. If your friend is interested in joining the free workshops (no experience necessary) email


And more things to do for free in London:

1. Visit Tate Modern open late on Friday evenings and better still Late at Tate on the first Friday of each month has an immersive mix of sounds, visuals and discussion and is free.  Next one 6th June 6.30-9.30pm. Great viewing platform on the 10th floor.
2. Explore Camden Market on a Saturday or Sunday, it's packed with stalls and food from around the world.
3. The Museum of the Moon is a free art installation at the Natural History Museum where you can see the six-metre moon illuminated with an accompanying soundscape, showing the detail of the surface as seen in NASA imagery. Opens on 17 May-8 September
4. Secret Rivers discover the secrets of London's historic waterways at a major new exhibition at Museum of London Docklands in East London. Free entry.
5. Dont forget Kew Gardens now we have free entry for HostNation - just email for the voucher once you plan to go. The Children's Garden, a new adventure playground is now open.
6. Join the EID festival in Trafalgar Square on June 8th

All best wishes, HostNation team
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