Culture Night 2020 with Comhlámh and Ireland Says Welcome
Comhlámh and the Ireland Says Welcome group are delighted to be hosting our annual multi-cultural Culture Night. For our 2020 event we will be moving online so please join us virtually for an evening of “Stories from Home” with stories and pieces written and read by four guests from the refugee and migrant community living in Ireland.
Kensika Monshengwo will host Suad Aldarra, Motasem al Haj Ali and Waheed Mohiuddin in what promises to be an evening of cultural celebration, with time for discussion, and participation.
Kensika Monshengwo, was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and his studies in Paris focused on “The Americanisation of young people of African descent in the Parisian suburbs”. He has lived in Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland, USA and in Ireland was an active member of Comhlámh, and then worked with the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism. He has extensive experience in intercultural training across government, private and non-government sectors. Currently as Integration Officer with the Immigrant Council of Ireland, Kensika supports the political participation and integration of migrants, building new regional and local relationships, as well as liaising on relevant integration projects.
Suad Aldarra is a Syrian data scientist and storyteller. She studied and worked as a software engineer in Damascus until she was forced to leave in 2012 heading to Egypt and then Ireland. She worked with Fujitsu then UNICEF in applying data science methodologies to support emergency response. She holds a master’s degree in data analytics from NUI, Galway. Her project RefugeesAre.info won several awards and recognised as one of 25 most innovative new projects using tech to help refugees and NGOs. Suad believes in the power of a good untold story and is currently writing a book about home. She was recently short-listed for Penguin Random House WriteNow 2020, a programme which supports under-represented writers in the UK and Ireland.
Motasem Al Haj Ali is a teacher, mathematician, data analyst, scholarship student and university administrator. He has worn many hats since making Ireland his home six years ago. Originally from Syria, he believes that when we step outside our boxes we widen our horizons and enrich our lives. Motasem is currently writing a book about his life when he was young called ‘Stories from a Syrian Childhood’
Waheed Mohiuddin is a Pakistani born author who came to Ireland in 2015, and was granted refugee status in 2019. He is outspoken, with a secular ideology, and his studies and writing are on human rights issues including child abuse, violence against women, terrorism, global peace and inter-faith harmony. He says of himself: “I am a man who has experienced many lives in one life. From a successful university lecturer and fiction writer to a refugee in Ireland; from stutterer school drop-out, to a motivational public speaker and university graduate; a loving father to a lonely autumn leaf; human rights campaigner, journalist, and author of three published books”