Fleeing from war? Finding a home may depend on your skin colour


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In the news reports from many Western countries, reporters and politicians have repeatedly compared Ukrainian refugees to those from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. They have used descriptors such as ‘civilised’ and ‘educated’ to differentiate white Ukrainians from refugees of colour. On the ground, this translates to discrimination against people of colour fleeing from Ukraine. While the West is opening their borders and homes to white Ukrainians, Indian and African students are being attacked and beaten.

In this episode of The Suno India Show, host Suryatapa Mukherjee speaks to Shrouk El-Attar, an Egyptian refugee in the UK. They discuss the world’s reaction to Ukraine and how it is different for non-white refugees. Shrouk El-Attar is an engineer, belly dancer and LGBT+ activist who was one of BBC 100 most influential women in the world in 2018, United Nations refugee agency Young Woman of the year 2018, and IET Top 6 young women engineers in the UK in 2019 and in 2020.

Additional reading:

Indian and African refugees tell of ’19th-century racism’ at Ukrainian border | openDemocracy
People of colour fleeing Ukraine attacked by Polish nationalists | Guardian
UK will pay households $456 a month to host Ukrainian refugees | Al Jazeera
How do the UK’s schemes for Ukrainian refugees work? – BBC News
Calais migrant camp: Last shelter destroyed – BBC News
Child labour, underage marriage and babies sold as Afghan parents face ‘excruciating choices’ – ABC News
Pride Without Borders – Bristol Refugee Rights
Glitter Cymru – Ethnic minority LGBTQ+ people

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