I am so enjoying winter up here in the big smoke……I hear Perth folks complaining about the cold weather and after 10 years in Denmark WA I am grateful for the very mild conditions and the extended hours of sunlight shinning into my little unit in Hamilton Hill.
It’s been incredibly busy the past few months and I can’t believe that almost 2 months has passed since my last update. I am not sure who has set the time on “fast” but it sure is getting difficult with keep up with everything. My main focus has been doing my “Music Talks” events although I have done a couple of regular gigs too. COVID has put all touring plans on hold for the moment but that’s OK I am quite enjoying hanging out here in the West.
The Victoria Park Farmers Markets was almost a normal gig in that it was a 3 hr gig. I parked myself right next to the stall “manned” by Betty McGeever. Betty has been a very active campaigner for refugee rights for a long time now and she had a table filled with all things “refugee”. It was a surprisingly mild Perth day and it was great to such a receptive audience.
Another standout event was the “Music Talks” gig that I did at St Pauls Beaconsfield. Celia asked me to come back and do one of my music events to her church group. We had a fantastic turn out and lots of very engaged people. Jalal Mahamede (Poet & Artist – Ahwaz Refugee) spoke to the people via audio on facebook messenger, he gave an incredibly moving speech which I will add at the end of this post. At time of writing this, Jalal still remains locked up in a detention centre in Brisbane.….I am not religious but I pray everyday that he and the others will be released soon. I can’t stand what what is happening to these guys it’s and unbelievable form of modern day torture by the Australian Government.
Aida Hatam also joined us to tell her story of how she and her family were sent to Nauru processing centre and then brought to Australia for her husband’s medical treatment and now have been left in indefinite limbo to this day.
Another really lovely evening was spent at the Leederville Songwriters club. I did a set of original songs to the most attentive of audiences and it was another opportunity to talk about refugees with it being “Refugee Week”. I took full advantage to make my whole set all about the issue.
“Crossing New Borders” was released at Nannup Music Festival March of this year and a few weeks ago I managed to get a video together for it. I got some great photos from a photo stock company online and Danny Reardon (Photographer) gave me permission to use a few of his photos from a recent protest in Perth. It was a bit of a problem to upload it to Facebook because they claimed that there was unacceptable material in it, after some investigation it seems that my words in the middle of the video upset them.
I would like to finish this post with Jalal’s speech, it was very moving and it’s really important that I give you the opportunity to read it. I also want to make sure that it stays on the record of time because one day he will be free and this will be an important piece of historical context of the harsh conditions experienced by all those that arrived on our shores seeking safety in 2013.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk about my problems. Thank you for taking the time to listen to
I have spent eight years of my life in Australian detention، This is because I fled from my country to save my life and I asked Australia to help and save me ,
The Australian Government says your only fault is that you came by boat،
I would like to say that if I could travel to Australia by plane, why did I choose the ocean way.
Why should I put my life in a small boat and the dangerous ocean?
I certainly had no choice, so I had to take this path.
From these eight years, I was living in a tent without fan and air con in Nauru island at 2013 to 2019
For the first and a half year , we only had 3 minutes to take shower in a day.
Many problems occurred that couldn’t be explained in a few minutes.
Women, men, and children harmed themselves . because they were tired of that hell.
More than twenty young people died on the island،
because of difficult conditions Women had abortions in the toilet, The situation was so horrible that everyone was suffering from mental and physical problems.
And I’m the last survivor of them, I’m still alive please feel me a minute.
I want someone to hear my voice and tell me what’s my crime that I should be in detention for eight years.
I need someone to hear my voice and tell me what is my crime that after eight years nobody telling me when I’ll be free.
And how long i have to stay in detention?
Four people are living in a small room in detention now
The mental and physical pressure on us are so huge that I can’t even think for a moment about it, because it will drive me crazy.
We say we are human, and we should love each other. They treated me worse than a wild animal,
Am I not human or are they? Please Someone explain to me.
We need your help, We need your help like human needs oxygen, like children need parents, like plants need soil
Thank you and God bless you.