‘Refugees and Migrants Do Not Come From a Different World’
Malka Al-Haddad introduces a new magazine aiming to challenge stereotypes about refugees and migrants by showcasing their writing and editing and building a ‘bridge’ of understanding
The Other Side of Hope: Journeys in Refugee and Immigrant Literature is a new literary journal edited by immigrants and refugees based in the UK. The magazine seeks to break down stereotypes about migrants and refugees by showcasing their writing and aims to support those careers that may have been cut short because of exile and migration.
It was created because there is no other similar literary magazine in the country. This type of publication should have happened years ago but because it didn’t, we made it happen. Arts Council England funded us and we are supported by Journeys Festival International.
As immigrant editors, we believe that people need to understand each other, and this magazine exists to enable people to gain insights into us – our lives, our talents and our stories. It aims to be a bridge that will bring us closer through literature, and we want it to become a home for refugee and immigrant writers of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and for those writers who know about us and want to support us.
So far, we have published work from 120 refugee and immigrant writers from across the world in the genres of fiction and poetry, as well as non-fiction, book reviews and author interviews on the theme of migration.
This magazine is hugely important because it provides the opportunity to hear the voices of refugees and migrants, and for them to exhibit their literary and artistic talents in describing their experiences and telling their stories. It is an opportunity to build bridges with others who do not know about the experiences of refugees and are unaware of the wealth of talent within immigrant communities.
It is important to unite people through the literary cultures of the world because we live in a world of division and distance from others. We extend a message of love and understanding to others – our world needs cultural exchange, people need to listen to each other and learn what is good in each other’s cultures.
We hope this magazine will go some way to achieving this. It is an opportunity to love each other, acknowledge each other and understand each other, so that our world can one day live in peace.
We are exhausted by wars and conflicts, and we must stop the madness of hatred and the madness of racism, because continuing the cycle of war and conflict will bring destruction to all. We must unite for peace and live in harmony, understanding and acceptance of each other.
We are refugees and immigrants, we did not come from a different world.
Malka Al-Haddad is the poetry editor of the ‘Other Side of Hope’
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