Lliana is a London born broadcaster who's worked across a variety radio and TV. She is also the co-founder of charities Kindly Kindly and Help Refugees.
Lliana creates a weekly podcast 'Geek Chic's Weird Science' discussing the week's strangest and quirkiest science news, and a topical podcast called Get It Off Your Breasts
From the warehouse the refugees will be herded through to a tent, each large enough to hold 50 people. Once a tent is full, they will board a bus, heading to a destination which many will not have heard of. From here the future is uncertain.
So often refugees are painted as a burden on societies, but these rich family histories show that refugees are just as capable as we are of achieving greatness and contributing to society, if given half a chance - and who knows what wonderful things their children and grandchildren may end up accomplishing.
Today is World Refugee Day, yet for the 65.3million people across the world currently displaced today is no different from any other day. Fareed means "alone" in Arabic, but together we can stand in solidarity with refugees across the world, not only today, but every day.
On Wednesday 30 March an 11-year-old child named Kareem went missing. He had brown hair, a cheeky smile, and wore a little pink hoody. You won't have heard about his disappearance though, because, you see, he's a refugee. Not a white skinned, blonde haired, blue eyed little girl. He is little boy from Afghanistan who had travelled half way across the world alone to reach the 'safety' of first world France. He was also just one of the hundreds of unaccompanied children in Calais that the world seems to have conveniently forgotten.
Please consider doing this: ask one friend/family member/loved one whether this year, instead of buying a gift for you they could please buy one gift for a refugee instead - for someone who has very little, who is facing very tough times, and who would really appreciate this hard earned cash being spent on something essential for them.
Never again, we all said. Yet here we are, facing the greatest refugee crisis since World War Two and we are once again talking about shutting our doors to the people who need our help the most... Our rejection and maltreatment of refugees plays into the hands of ISIS who rely on any anti-Muslim sentiment in the West to boost recruitment and incite anger. A large number of IS fighters in Syria and Iraq are from the West. We understand why people are scared. We are scared too, but so are the refugees. And turning them away is not the solution. We are all victims of terror now. We should let it unite us not divide us.
Another call came in - this time from volunteers in Serbia - the refugees are burning plastic bags to keep warm, they have nothing else, they are freezing to death, and the fumes from the bags are slowly poisoning them, please send help. Then another - this time from volunteers on Lesbos trying to find out how to order body bags en masse... will they have to resort this? Time will tell, but certainly people there have already started to die.
We are facing a global crisis, with over 60million people displaced from their homes (more than any time since World War II), and whilst Germany welcomes 30,000 Syrian refugees with banners and cheers, Britain, one of the richest countries in the world, reluctantly pledges to take in just 500. How has it taken the image of a dead child, face down in the sand, for so many people to realise they have a heart? The pictures of poor little Kiyiya VuranInsanlik were heart wrenching, but maybe the saddest part of it is how many young lives have been lost that seemingly had no impact at all. That's the harshest tragedy imaginable. It's time to take action and stop this.
The idea that you, a human being, breaking no laws that you know of, can suddenly be accosted by the police, and that they expect you to simply roll over and comply with their every whim otherwise violence will be inflicted upon you and you will be arrested, was very shocking to me.
My radio show on Xfm is a testament to how loved and important these artists have become and so, this fourth of July... I want to declare "Independents Day" and share the stories of four of the world's best loved indie labels.
I've decided to do my best to "eat kind". Like sexuality believe there is no black and white and that labels aren't really helpful any more. Fluidity is. So I'm dispensing with "vegan"/ "vegetarian"/ "pescetarian" etc. If I want to eat some cheese or yoghurt I will.
There are currently six women presenting solo shows at Xfm London. There are fourteen men. So comparatively we are bucking the trend at 30% females (versus the national average of 20%). Imagine a male DJ joining a station and finding himself one of only six men amongst fourteen female presenters. Do you think for one moment he would proclaim to his friends that he is "lucky to be amongst so many male presenters"?
I don't doubt many people would have found the <em>Charlie Hebdo</em> cartoons extremely offensive, and I'm not here to tell you that's wrong, but the insinuation that insulting/offending people may have invited this horrific tragedy on any level is tantamount in my eyes to the old age adage that a rape victim "asked for it" by wearing a short skirt. It's victim blaming at its very worst, and especially against people who fought in many ways for the rights of those who attacked them. So long as offence remains within the bounds of what is legally acceptable, then it is just that - acceptable - whether you personally like it or not.
Soho was built on sex, art and culture - and we should cherish its idiosyncratic creativity, not strive to stifle it. And don't we have enough alternative areas in London for those looking for a sterilised and family friendly night out? Dylan Thomas once called Swansea an "ugly, lovely town" and in many ways this is how I grew up seeing London. Its areas like Soho providing a beautiful dose of grit and grime in its cracked walls and faces.
His daughter had to leave social media after abuse from trolls, who may have even possibly sent her images of her father's autopsy (and then threatened to print it out to use as toilet paper). His wife has been subjected to whispers and speculation as to why she may not have spent the night in the same room as her husband...
Eslam wrote back to my sister in tears. She saw that yes, Israelis are human too! That they are shown the same images as she is. That no one hates her for simply being a Palestinian. That there are people out there who really care for her and her safety. And most of all that there is a chance for peace. She was overwhelmed by all of our love for her. And I decided that this article would instead be dedicated to her. To her strength, and that of all those on BOTH "sides of the fence" who question what they are told, acknowledge that we are all in fact the same, and reach out to each other with hope for peace for ALL.
16/07/2014 23:11 BST
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