Irina Bokova, the director general of Unesco, talked about how culture was instrumental to economic growth, citing a 2015 study that said the arts generated 29.5 million jobs worldwide, more than the auto industry. “Development without culture cannot be sustainable or equitable or inclusive,” she said. Other discussions at the conference resonated more subtly with the most salient issues of the day, including panels on refugees, censorship, heritage preservation and cultural diplomacy.
“Merkel maybe can do something to open the border,” Farhad said in English, which he has learned over the year since he fled war and poverty in his home country. Farhad also likes to draw portraits of his family and friends, fairytale castles, nature or anything else that comes to mind. Painting, he said, has helped during the flight. “I was in Turkey, I was in Greece,” Farhad said of the trip. “Here in the camp I like my painting, I like drawing my feelings and faces.”
Toronto’s Somali community has struggled more than most since their first wave landed in the city in the early 1990s. Ahmed Hussen was among them. Their experiences [...] were his experiences. And this feel-good stroll down Weston Road, the business strip of the Somali neighbourhood here, plays out like a spontaneous celebration of a monumental first. A perfect success story in the year of Canada’s 150th birthday.
Refugees are pouring in. Bran keeps a list of why. Besides “killing and torturing” are “abduction of men, trading has stopped, no schools, looting of properties”. “It was preventive fleeing,” says Charlie Yaxley of the UN high commissioner for refugees. [...] Yet inside Uganda something extraordinary is happening. Refugees can move freely, work and own a business. “Uganda is incredibly switched on,” says Musarait Kashmiri from African Initiatives for Relief and Development, which has opened 343km of roads in Bidi Bidi. “Uganda is a showcase,” says Yaxley.
The executive director, Isis-Women's International Cross Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), Helen Kezie-Nwoha has called on African governments to put mechanisms in place to be able to address the challenge of refugees at home. Her call follows concerns over a number of European countries that have started rejecting refugees.
Harnessing young people's enthusiasm for football and sports in general is a useful and interesting way to offer opportunities for personal and professional growth, said Rubem Cesar Fernandes, executive director of Viva Rio, a Brazilian NGO focusing on development through innovative projects. [...] Viva Rio has established the Black Pearls Academy, a high-performance football training centre for young athletes from refugee and underprivileged communities in Brazil and Haiti.
Immigration [...] has recently become the focal point of President Trump’s first weeks in office. In response to his travel ban, which suspends the refugee program and prevents immigration to the United States from seven predominately Muslim countries, a variety of groups and organizations have spoken out about what it means to be American, how we should move forward with immigration, and what intrinsic values are essential to the success of the United States.
A look at the response of some U.S. Christian churches to President Trump's travel ban