Saturday, 15 March 2008

Self-Portrait Programme for Migrants

By Hakeem Babalola

The Hungarian Association for Migrants (MENEDÉK) is currently organising a self-portrait project at SRLY Restaurant on Király street 50. The event is expected to take place every Sunday from 10-4 pm and will last for five weeks.

According to Mészáros Attila, MENEDÉK programme coordinator, the purpose of the project is to allow the migrants express themselves in different ways such as writing, photography, drawing, painting and so on.

“We hope that more Hungarians would become friendly toward migrants, refugees and the Gypsy,” he explained through an interpreter, adding that his organisation wants to reach at least 1.5 million people through constant campaign and exhibition.

The first segment which was designed to open up the participants took place on April 13. Although it failed to pull enough crowd, those in attendance were happy to be part of the programme.

Al-Jari Rami, 19, who is a refugee from Iraq described the programme as beautiful. “It is good because you can speak about yourself,” he said.

Rami came to Hungary in early 2007 and is now at Catering School from where he expected to proceed to the University. He described Late Saddam Hussein as a dictator who destroyed everything in Iraq.

His two sisters - Lara and Sara - also attended the programme. They said that they too like the programme and would like to make their lives in Hungary.

Yemisi who came from Nigeria 2 years ago simply said the programme was all right without elaboration. “I don’t discuss my personal life,” she asserted.

Meanwhile, the organisers are deliberating whether to change the day and time of the programme in order to attract more participants.

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