Speaker Meeting 3rd February

Left to right Greg, Sana, Ali and Karina Martin

Speaker: We welcomed Karina Martin from Derby and Ali and Sana to our meeting.

Karina spoke about the setting up in 2006 of the Upbeat Community Group in Derby to welcome and integrate asylum seekers from Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. They have developed many different projects including, welcome boxes,  English language courses, sewing groups and a team of volunteers to help with the settling into the area. Last year they held two enterprise courses and were helped by business people to assist with the starting of many small businesses.

Sana who is a Biomedical Engineer and now an author. She, when in Iran made conference presentations on literature and philosophy.

Ali used to have a small export business in Iran when he had many clients in China. Because his life was threatened he had to leave the county in a hurry. They both travelled for many days in complete darkness with just water and tablets to keep them going and it was the worst experience of their lives. They enjoyed a good standard of life in Iran but both were in great fear of their lives. Currently they are trying to build a new life but miss their families and are unable to have little if any contact.

There were many questions for our members which were answered well and with an update on the current situation in Iran and details of the terrible life threats back home. 

John Gregory gave our Club vote of thanks to our three speakers saying it had been an eye opener, keep us in touch and best wishes for the future.

27th January 2014


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