refugees

Episode 42: Stateless - Myanmar's Rohingya People

In 1982 the Myanmar (Burmese) military government passed a citizenship law that effectively stripped the Rohingya community of their nationality overnight. They’ve been stateless ever since, and subject to institutionalized discrimination and coordinated persecution that has greatly restricted their movement and their access to jobs and to education.

Although there have been reports of attacks and massacres in the past, in August of 2017 Myanmar’s military began a campaign to drive many Rohingya out of their homes in Rakhine state, with the result that roughly 900,000 refugees have fled the country, with reports of widespread and coordinated attacks utilizing arson, rape, and mass killing that bear signs of genocide. Refugee camps in neighboring Bangladesh have long since been filled past overflowing, and many have been reduced to living in squalid and unsafe conditions in and around the camps.

JN Joniad fled his home in Rakhine state 6 years ago, and is currently registered in with UNHCR in Indonesia as a refugee, while he awaits resettlement elsewhere. His story not only illuminates the condition of fellow Rohingya, but also uncovers what appears to be a global trend amongst wealthy nations (the US, EU, and Australia) to outsource their border enforcement policy to developing nations through a strategy of deterrence and obscured accountability.

 
 
J N Joniad’s Blog

J N Joniad’s Blog

 
 
 

Episode 33: Bringing Palestine to the US

Faisel Saleh was born the 11th of 11 children in the West Bank town of El Bireh after his parents fled from their home in Salama (near Tel Aviv) during the 1948 war. Those events created the state of Israel and what 700,000 Palestinians and their millions of descendants refer to as “The Nakba”, or the catastrophe. Faisal came to the US in 1969 to pursue his education, later becoming a successful entrepreneur. Last year he founded the Palestine Museum US, in Woodbridge, Connecticut, the first museum of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

In addition to providing a space to share and preserve the culture for Palestinian Americans, Palestinians of the global diaspora, and for Palestinians in Palestine, it’s also a space for non-Palestinians who create art or commentary about the community and its history.


But to talk about the art, culture, and history of Palestine and its people opens the door to a much wider conversation about the current conditions of the community, and in particular the circumstances of Palestinian refugees, and of those who have been enduring more than a decade of life under siege in the Gaza Strip and 52 years of Israeli military occupation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Episode 31: Out of Options - Syrian & Yemeni in Malaysia

Hashed had to flee Yemen after his father was killed, and what followed was an odyssey that has taken him from Djibouti, to India, to Malaysia, where his struggle is far from over.

Hassan is from Syria, and he also wound up in Malaysia, after his  work visa in the UAE expired and the Emirati government threatened to deport him back to Syria. Hassan became the subject of international attention when he spent 7 months trapped in the Kuala Lumpur airport. These are their stories, and you can help.

Latitude Adjustment Podcast: Episode 31: Stuck in Malaysia
 
 
Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch

 
Hand to Hand profile & fundraising campaign for Hashed

Hand to Hand profile & fundraising campaign for Hashed

 
 

Episode 29: Malta & Refugees in the Mediterranean

Maria Pisani PhD is a Maltese citizen, lecturer, former head of office for the International Organization for Migration on Malta, and co-founder and director of Integra Foundation. As the EU’s smallest and southernmost member state, Malta has long been on the front lines of one of the busiest and the deadliest migratory paths on earth, where more than 14,000 people have lost their lives since 2014, attempting the crossing from North African shores to the EU.

We discuss Malta’s role in the refugee crisis, the features of Maltese policies and how they have shifted over the years, and the moral, political, and logistical implications of the EU’s policy of containment and deterrence since 2015 when Europe saw the largest numbers of refugees since the Second World War.

 
 
From: Malta Today

From: Malta Today

 
 
From: Times of Malta

From: Times of Malta

Episode 26: Western Sahara

Western Sahara is one of the world's forgotten occupations.

In 1975 Spain ended its nearly century-long colonization of Spanish Sahara, leaving the territory to be overtaken by Moroccan and Mauritanian forces. Under the leadership of the POLISARIO Front the Sahrawis continued their guerilla war for self determination. In 1979 Mauritania withdrew and Morocco moved in to claim the rest of the territory now known as Western Sahara. The war continued until 1991, until a UN-brokered ceasefire with the promise of a referendum on independence for Western Sahara that never came. Morocco continues to occupy Western Sahara, transferring its citizens to the territory and extracting its resources under the protection of France’s protective veto in the UN. Meanwhile the Sahrawi community either lives under a brutally oppressive police state in occupied Western Sahara, or on the other side of the wall, a 2,700 kilometer barrier that Morocco constructed, which forms the de-facto border, splits Western Sahara in half, annexes most of the economically valuable land, and which forms the second longest wall on earth.

Mahfud Mohamed Lamin is one of approximately 170,000 Sahrawi refugees who are stuck on the other side of that wall in the harsh desert of Western Algeria. He was was born in 1991, the very same year that saw an end to the 16-year war between the the Sahrawis and the Moroccan government. But the following 28 years have not seen an end to the conflict, or the referendum that was promised to his people.

Latitude Adjustment is 100% listener supported. If you agree that we need more independent media that prioritizes curiosity and connections over fear and divisions then please support us with a monthly donation through our Patreon page. Thanks!

 
 
The New Yorker

The New Yorker

Western Sahara Resource Watch

Western Sahara Resource Watch

Episode 24: Muslim in America & Refugees

Isra Chaker is a force of nature, and we were lucky to get a few minutes to interrupt her whirlwind of advocacy, public speaking, and campaign organizing on issues ranging from Islamophobia and bullying, to refugees and asylum seekers, to the so-called “Muslim Ban” imposed by the current US administration. We talk about her experiences growing up as a Muslim in the US in the aftermath of September 11, and how she confronted the bullying she faced in school and the role this played in setting her on her current path. We also discuss her campaign to highlight the lives and the challenges faced by asylum seekers by renting out Donald Trump’s childhood home on AirBnB, the curriculum that she helped to develop for thousands of US schools to teach young kids about the experiences of Muslims and refugees, and her recent trip to visit refugee camps in Jordan for Oxfam USA.

Stream our show below, or subscribe through iTunes, Spotify, and most platforms for Android. And support independent media that promotes curiosity and connections over fear and divisions by contributing through our Patreon page today.

Photo credits: Isra Chaker

 
 
 
 
 

Episode 19: No Name Kitchen

Bruno Morán is from Asturias, Spain, and is a co-founder of No Name Kitchen, an NGO that provides food, sleeping bags, basic necessities, and a community space for refugees in transit along the Serbian and Bosnian borders with Croatia.

In addition to providing basic services, No Name Kitchen has also become a primary point of contact for those who have been pushed back from the Croatian border, and as a result the organization has found itself involved in documenting and sharing the growing number of reported abuses by the Croatian border police against those who are seeking to cross into the EU, people who have no legal means of registering themselves in bordering countries.

In this episode we cover what is happening on the ground, the practical challenges of running a small front line organization, and some advice on how you can get involved in global events in your community.


Photo credit clockwise from top left: image 1 No Name Kitchen; images 2-4 Maria Feck, No Name Kitchen, Šid, Serbia.

 
 

Episode 17: Trafficked to the US

Rosine Hounakey is from Togo but she was trafficked to the US at 13 years old and forced to work for free on both coasts of the US, and later into a coerced marriage until she was freed with her two young sons as the result of an ICE raid when she was 17 years old.

She then had to go through foster care in various American cities, waking up at 5am every day to take her kids to school before completing high school herself, after years with no formal education, having taught herself English along the way.

Rosine is currently pursuing an advanced degree, running her own hair salon, and raising her two sons in Grand Rapids, Michigan. We also discuss the entrepreneurial spirit of Togolese women, annoying stereotypes about Africa and Africans, tension and solidarity with the African American community, and moving forward after a deeply traumatic start at life in the US.

Be sure to check the links below for critical facts on Human Trafficking, as well as organizations that can provide immediate assistance.

 
Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Global Alliance Against Traffic in Women

Episode 5: From Syria to Berlin, Part 1 of 2

Aram AlSaed was a paramedic and a student of fine arts before he left Syria in 2015, traveling by bus, plane, boat, and by foot to reach Germany, while stopping along the way to provide medical and translation support for other refugees.

In this first of a two-part interview, I speak with him about life in Syria before the war, when things began to change, his work as a paramedic in Syria, when he realized that it was time for he and his brother to leave, and his journey up to the German border. 

Be sure to browse the additional content provided below for current information on the state of the refugee crisis in the Middle East, North Africa, and Europe. 

And be sure to catch the second half of the interview in the next episode. 

 

Sign up & stay informed!

Are You Syrious provides daily news digests from the field, mainly for volunteers and refugees on the route, but also for journalists and other parties.

 

Information resources for refugees & asylum seekers...

There are more than 60,000 refugees in Greece and an overwhelming demand for information to understand what is happening to them. Refucomm is a nonprofit registered in Germany and working in Greece to provide multilingual instruction materials and videos that inform people about their rights, asylum procedures, and how to prepare for their interviews.

Episode 3: Gaza & Politics in Palestine

Yousef Aljamal and I met in Gaza in 2013. In this long-format episode we discuss life in Gaza under 11 years of siege imposed by Israel and Egypt, his travels and his personal losses, the ongoing Great March of Return Protests, solidarity with indigenous communities and movements, and we take a critical look at internal Palestinian politics, the stigmatization of mental health treatment, the status of Jerusalem and the implications of the US embassy move, the role of Hamas and its politics, and pretty much everything you would want to know about the present situation in Gaza and the rest of Palestine that we could fit into two very long conversations.

I also provide a longer intro and closing thoughts to address the divisive nature of this subject in the US and the West, and my own travels in Palestine.

It would be impossible to produce a podcast on this subject that everyone will agree with, and that's not the aim of Latitude Adjustment on any subject. However, considerable effort was put into producing a show that will give you a detailed look at the present situation from a Palestinian perspective. Particular attention was given to topics that are often absent from the treatment of this conflict in mainstream and alternative media. This episode should be educational for just about anyone trying to get a better understanding of what is often characterized as the most intractable conflict in the world.

Please be sure to leave a review on iTunes or your preferred media platform, and please join the ongoing discussion in the Latitude Adjustment Conversation Group, on Facebook.

You can follow Yousef on Twitter.

 

The US has just cut all funding to UNRWA. Please donate today.

Since 1949 UNRWA has been the UN body responsible for providing medical clinics, education, and food aid to Palestinian refugees. There are currently 5.4 million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA, and the US administration - the principle donor to this UN organization- has just elected to cut all financial support. Whatever your view of this conflict, Palestinians need food, medicine, and an education. Please contribute what you can. And if you are a US voter, please call your elected representatives and ask that they demand the reinstatement of US funding.

For more context please read this recent op ed in the Washington Post.


Below you will find the two videos mentioned in the show. Also check out Yousef's suggested reading list. and this article Yousef wrote about his experiences of traveling as a Palestinian

Yousef's Suggested Reading:

Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History, Dreaming of Freedom: Palestinian Child Prisoners Speak
The Last Earth: A Palestinian story



1. Again I did not produce this video tutorial on the history of the Israel-Palestine Conflict. It's not perfect, and there's stuff I personally would have framed differently, and other things I would have included that were left out. But of all of the stuff I came across it seemed to provide the best balance between breadth of content with the least amount of objectionable material and omissions. 

 

2. The second video is part of a collaborative film project produced by Open Roads Media, a small nonprofit I founded in 2015. The bi-national street-interview-format film collaboration was completed by youth in Gaza, Palestine, and The Netherlands in 2017. The late Yaser Murtaja was one of the lead producers on the Gaza team, and it's his drone footage that provided the aerial views of Gaza in this short film. 

This episode of Latitude Adjustment is dedicated to Yaser and to his family, and to his friend and co-founder at Ain Media Rushdi Sarraj and their team. Ain Media created this short video memorial to Yaser as well

 

3. The third video is a helpful explainer, answering some of the common criticisms of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions) campaign.