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Dear all,

Thank you to everyone who attended the recent Conversation. For those of you who were unable to manage I thought you might be interested in the press coverage in the Strathearn Herald which provided a good summary (see below).

We raised £400 from the evening for the organisation founded by Pinar Aksu, Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees and folk from Comrie Solidaity with Refugees are meeting Pinar soon to discuss how we might extend this link.

Finally, if anyone has suggestions for a topic for the next Conversation (probably February 2016) please feel free to get in touch. Europe?

Thanks again for continuing to support Comrie Conversations.
Kind regards

Comrie Considers Refugees (article from Strathearn Herald 6.11.15
The ninth Comrie Conversation on Friday saw around 80 folk turn out on a dark, wet evening to show that they care about the current refugee crisis. On what turned out to be an emotional evening one of the speakers, Pinar Aksu, moved many in the audience to tears with her own family story about seeking asylum in the Uk and her recent visit to Greece to witness the situation first hand.

Pinar’s own experience has motivated her to become an human rights activist and she is a founding member of Glasgow Campaign to Welcome Refugees. In a show of solidarity, all proceeds from the evening were offered to Pinar for this organisation. Pinar was equally moved by the gesture and said, “I had never even heard of Comrie before tonight and I can’t tell you what this means to be welcomed into your community and to witness such generosity”. Representatives of Comrie Solidarity with Refugees are going to meet Pinar soon to discuss creating stronger links between the organisations. Ideas include a festival in the new year where Comrie residents will play host to families from Glasgow for a weekend of shared of fun, food and music.

Dr Ann Petrie, local historian and academic, opened the evening with a fascinating talk on how migrants to Scotland, and those who had migrated from Scotland in the past had been portrayed. Images from pamphlets and publications showed that history does repeat itself. Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the Royal Scottish Geographic Society, gave a global picture of migration, showed how we are all related to each other and talked about the factors that will increase migration in the future. Mike also asked one of the most telling questions of the evening, “Ask yourself this question, what would it take to make you leave your home”?

Local resident, Libby Urquhart, updated everyone at the end of the meeting with the early work of Comrie Solidarity with Refugees. There has already been a collection done quietly by the group to help the first arrivals of Syrian Refugees to Perth and Kinross. A hut has been donated by CDT for the storage of donated items and an announcement will follow soon about future collections.  Interested folk will be meeting soon (probably 16th Nov) and look out for the meeting date or check their Facebook page (Comrie Solidarity with Refugees) for up to date information.

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