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Refugees and Refugee Camps in the time of Covid-19

By: | posted on: Jun 17, 2020

Refugees and Refugee Camps in the time of Covid-19

Date(s) - 06/17/2020
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

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Free USD
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Birkbeck Access and Engagement

Refugees and Refugee Camps in the time of Covid-19

About This Event

A discussion around the effects of Covid-19 on refugee camps and live musical performance. This event is part of Refugee Week 2020.

Please note: If you’d like to attend any of our online events and are under 18, please ensure that you have an adult with you in the room.

Dr Mohammed Ateek, a lecturer in Applied Linguistics and TESOL at Birkbeck, University of London, will be leading a discussion on the effect that the virus Covid-19 is having on the lives of refugees currently living in refugee camps in Europe and the Middle East. Mohammed will be joined by two individuals from organisations working with refugees in Greece and the Lebanon, who will discuss the challenges and effects of the virus on the communities in these refugee camps and what the international response to this has been. We are fortunate to also be joined by two artists who will share musical performances from their homes in the UK and Germany.

Format of the event:

This event will be live-streamed via Birkbeck’s YouTube Channel. The link will be sent to you upon registration. Questions for our speakers can be sent live via the YouTube Live chat function or can be sent in advance via email to – please reference ‘refugee week’.

Biographies of guests:

Dr. Rouba Mhaissen is a Syrian-Lebanese economist, activist, community mobiliser, and development practitioner who works on development issues in the MENA region particularly forced migration and the Syrian refugee crisis. She is the Founder and Director of Sawa for Development and Aid (founded in 2011), a Civil Society Organisation that supports Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and the internally displaced in Syria, and Sawa Foundation UK (founded in 2016), that supports forced migrants in Europe and the Middle East. This work focuses on protection, education, capacity building, skills and advocacy with affected communities in Syria and the region.

Elatrasi is a British-Moroccan independent multidisciplinary artist. Elatrasi’s songs, which she hopes to release in the near future, root from an intimate place of discovering strength and resilience, overcoming darkness and turning pain into power. Following her degree in International Relations BA, she gained experience working closely with Syrian refugees in Jordan. She was also the winner of Local Giving’s Local Hero Campaign 2018 to help improve lives for Syrian refugee families in North West London. Alongside music aspirations, Elatrasi is currently reading MSc International Migration and Public Policy at the LSE in hope to critically understand immigration policy processes, forced migration and refugee protection in Europe. Instagram: @elatrasiofficial

Ruhi Loren Aktar works for Refugee Biriyani & Bananas (RBB) a grassroot organisation that was formed in response to the escalation of the refugee crisis in 2015 when a group of friends decided to provide 2500 portions of biriyani and bananas for all the residents of the unofficial refugee camp in Dunkirk, Northern France. Aiming to empower displaced people by involving them in the decision making and support provision process, RBB provide urgent aid and basic necessities with dignity and equity, as well as raising awareness and sharing stories of the people we are supporting. Today, RBB is a UK registered charity based on the Greek Island of Chios where there is over 5000 people trapped in Vial Refugee Camp, after arriving via boat from Turkey.

Moustafa Moustafa is a musician who is based in Magdeburg in Germany. Originally from Northeast Syria, Moustafa has been playing the Oud to international audiences for several years. To listen to some of Moustafa’s work please see his Instagram account: mustafa_hamed.85

Birkbeck and Refugee Week 2020:

This event will be held during Refugee Week 2020. To find out more about the festival please visit the website. If you would like to find out more about Birkbeck’s work with refugees and forced migrants please see our website or email

Accessibility information:

Participation in this event will require you to view a video and to log into an online portal called Collaborate to take part in the Q&A session. You can do this on a computer or smartphone. We will circulate a guide on how to access Collaborate to all attendees. If you feel you will need additional support accessing our online resources, please don’t hesitate to email us at We are able to provide a digital mentor who can call or video call you to take you through the steps you will need to access this and other online events/training.

Please contact us in advance of the event at if you have any additional accessibility requirements so that we can ensure you will be able to get the most from this event. For some requirements, e.g. BSL interpreters, we may need a few days’ notice to make arrangements, so please let us know as soon as possible.

Important Information: Before booking your ticket please review the information below regarding your data:

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