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ALONG THE WAY
47 minutes | Jun 17, 2021
World Refugee Day Special
In this special episode to mark World Refugee Day 2021, I had the pleasure of sitting down with the UNCHR Canada’s Representative, Rema Jamous Imseis. We talked about the global pandemic, refugee issues across the world and in Canada, as well as about the incredible resilience of people seeking refugee protection. Plus, she answered the two questions I love to ask my guests: what would you say to those who speak negatively about refugees and what inspires you to keep going? It was a wide-ranging interview and I’m hugely grateful that Rema took the time out of her incredibly busy schedule to talk so frankly to with me for the podcast. I hope you’ll give it a listen and be thankful for organizations like the UNHCR that do so much for displaced people.
45 minutes | Apr 14, 2021
The Sky Never Stays Dark
In this episode we meet Mahbubeh (Maya) from Iran. Her incredible story starts in 1988 – when she was working in theatre and as a political activist. Her story is one that is both shocking and horrific in its detail of torture and imprisonment. She talks about the heartbreak and truly desperate lengths she went to for safety and peace. The brave decisions she took are ones that many of us will never have to face. She’s been through more in her lifetime than many people could bear. And yet despite the three decades being full of exceptional challenge, somehow, she remains undaunted, unbowed and full of hope and life.
44 minutes | Mar 10, 2021
A Heart Full of Hope
In this episode we meet Beth – a proud refugee from Central America. She and her husband came to Canada a year ago, with just two bags and a heart full of hope. Beth is a chemical engineer, human resources expert and University instructor from central America, who’s life was changed forever one evening when her husband was kidnapped. Facing extortion calls and more threats to their lives they had to take the incredibly difficult decision to leave. Despite all the challenges and turmoil she’s faced, Beth remains positive about her life and her future. She talks honestly about her home country and the night that changed everything for her. She also talks about what it’s like to become a refugee and how it is to leave her home without being able to say goodbye. Her story of one of unexpected bravery and resilience. But above all, one of hope.
47 minutes | Feb 10, 2021
Operation Not Forgotten
Operation #NotForgotten is a campaign to provide safe resettlement for hundreds of desperate refugees who have been detained on Manus and Nauru since 2013. There are over 300 people still being held on Nauru and Papua New Guinea who have no options, no hope. The majority of the approximately 650 refugees and asylum seekers have been accepted for resettlement to the US, but there are hundreds who are not eligible for the program. This episode of Along the Way meets Saleem Spindari, Senior Manager of Refugees and Migrant Worker Programs from MOSAIC. He, his team and MOSAIC’s partners are working to resettle these individuals through Canada's private sponsorship program.
15 minutes | Jan 13, 2021
The Cost of Flight
The impact of becoming a refugee is experienced by people in many different ways – as unique as each situation. But sometimes leaving your own country is the only option you have, when your family is threatened and needs to escape to safety. This was true for my guest, Bakr Jalil. His wife was an activist in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, and because of her work, they had to make the heartbreaking decision to leave their homeland and family behind to seek safety in Canada in 2015. You can hear her story in the previous episode of this podcast. An accountant by profession, Bakr had to start again in Canada. With little English, very few possessions and no knowledge of the country he was coming to, his journey has been a challenging one – and its impact continues to resonate today.
39 minutes | Dec 9, 2020
Fighting Injustice, Finding Community
Shanga Karim was a journalist and women’s activist in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq, focusing on violence against women, honour killing, and female genital mutilation. She came to Canada in 2015. Living in Canada hasn't been easy, but through writing, she has found a way to rebuild her life again. She participated in The Shoe Project writing workshop and wrote her story, which she has performed at different universities and events. In this episode we talk about her campaigning, her writing and her dreams for the future.
36 minutes | Nov 11, 2020
The Echo of A Violin in Damascus
Sari Alesh came to Canada as a refugee from the Syrian war in 2016, settling on Vancouver Island. He recorded the famous hymn - Amazing Grace - in solidarity with the people of Nova Scotia, who experienced a terrible tragedy with a mass shooting that killed 22 people earlier this year. As an internationally recognized violinist, Sari was classically trained in Damascus and before the war broke out in Syria he toured Europe and the Middle East with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra. In this episode we talk about his music, his life and his hopes for the future.
39 minutes | Oct 14, 2020
Stateless to Status-less
Mohammad Zaqout grew up in a refugee camp in Gaza, Palestine – before moving to an apartment with his family. Despite the immense challenges of living in one of the most densely populated areas of the world, which is mired in intractable partisanship and sectarianism, he graduated with honors from the University of Palestine in Business Administration and Accounting. In 2010, he received a scholarship to spend an academic year in the United States as an exchange student and an ambassador for peace. Due to circumstances in Gaza, which we don’t talk about in this episode, he moved Canada in 2019 and now works to combine humanitarianism with entrepreneurship.
36 minutes | Aug 31, 2020
What Guilt She Had to Leave Us
With an amazingly melodic voice and with its own haunting rhythms, Rawan Moon is a refugee from Syria and now lives in British Columbia. In her native country she was a biologist and high school teacher. Her poetry speaks about an ache and a longing for what’s left behind, as well as a desire to search for what is good. She’s has a strong heart for social justice and speaks out on many important issues – and her poems reflect her passion.
44 minutes | Aug 30, 2020
Albanian Anger, Canadian Peace
Today’s guest once wrote: “Activism for human rights does not necessarily lead to mental hardship—it saved me and many others.” Kristi Pinderi is an LGBTQ rights activist, who was one of the people who founded and marched at the first pride parade in his native Albania. Thanks to his tireless work, Albania adopted a National Action Plan for LGBTQ people in 2016. He’s made documentaries, written many articles, an autobiography and co-founded the first residential shelter for LGBTQ people in Albania. He moved with his partner Erjon and their dog to Canada in 2017.
43 minutes | Aug 28, 2020
The Man @ the Airport
With uncanny parallels to the movie "The Terminal" with Tom Hanks, in our first episode we meet an extraordinary man, who’s led an extraordinary life. Known as “the man at the airport”, Hassan Al Kontar spent seven months stranded inside Kuala Lumpur’s international airport, before finally leaving as a refugee to Canada. His story is at times heartbreaking, occasionally amusing and always compelling.
1 minutes | Aug 15, 2020
Along the Way - Trailer
So, what’s the truth behind these headlines and who are the people seeking safety? Along the Way is a podcast that gives voice to the people behind the headlines. Their voices are strong and their stories compelling. I’m Richard Belcham and I’m the host of Along the Way. I’d love it if you’d join me in listening to the stories of people who left dangerous situations in their homelands to find protection. You can get listen to Along the Way wherever you get your podcasts or from our website: alongthewaystories.com. Along the Way: stories of hope, refuge and resilience
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