Archive Monthly Archives: June 2020

Tastes of Damascus, model of diversity in the workplace

Hasan Hmeydan and Marina Liakis, founders of Tastes of Damascus, eco-friendly social restaurant employing refugees to promote inclusion and empowerment, were kindly invited to share their experience in the framework of the Diversity in the workplace program of the Generation 2.0 RED organization.

After a rich moment of experience-sharing and discussion on the Greek restaurant industry and practical advice to be a great employee – attitude at work, CV presentation, knowledge in Greek, to better navigate the labor market and improve one’s chances to be hired, Hasan and Marina took their team of guests to the restaurant, located in Kipseli. There, they had the opportunity to meet and exchange with Tastes of Damascus’employees and manager, and even to taste Sofia’s delicious traditional falafel and ayran – a sweet note to end an instructive and exciting day for everyone.

We would like to thank Generation 2.0 RED for this invitation and their trust. Read more on their organization on their website and on Hasan and Marina’s intervention here.

Stay updated on all our adventures by following us on our social media.

Za’atar NGO 

Instagram : instagram.com/zaatarproject/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/zaatarngo

Project Layali 

www.projectlayali.org/

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/projectlayali/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/projectlayali/

June Volunteers.

Our registry of volunteers for the month of June 2020.

Thinking and Creating change : Za’atar NGO is part of the Network for Dialogue

On October 20-21st, 2019, the first European Policy Dialogue Forum on Refugees and Migrants was held in Athens. Gathering a great diversity of actors – policy makers, religious leaders, academics and civil society members , it was organized by the Network for Dialogue and The International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), an intergovernmental organization working to promote interfaith and intercultural dialogue and actions.

As part of this network, Za’atar NGO took part in the conversation. Our co-founder and director, Marina Liakis, was invited to share her experience and knowledge. This first forum, whose theme was “Understanding current challenges of refugees and migrants in Europe: What can we do?” aimed at making new propositions emerge and widen horizons on the social inclusion of refugees and migrants, through discussion and experience-sharing.

Dedicated to the protection, support, social inclusion and empowerment of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, Za’atar NGO is determined to advocate for and with them so that both policies and minds evolve for the better.

Why “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia” is important to us

Every 17th of May, the “International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia” is observed in a great number of countries worldwide. On this occasion, Za’atar NGO would like to recall the importance of the specific attention to and protection of LGBTQ+ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer) asylum seekers and refugees.

Many LGBTQ+ asylum seekers are often seriously threatened and actively persecuted in their home countries, and they unfortunately do not find more safety or peace once they have crossed European borders. They indeed are very likely to experience the same violence from their home community in camps. That is just one reason why they require specific aid, which very few organizations acknowledge and/or offer.

Since 2016, ATLAS (Aid To LGBTQ+ Asylum Seekers) initiative has been offering a safe and friendly support group for LGBTQ+ refugees, their family, and friends. In coordination with ATLAS, Za’atar built a program designed to ease the transition into European life for these individuals. It provides a variety of services such as:

  • Operating a Helpline for LGBTQ+ refugees worldwide in Farsi, Arabic, French and English
  • Providing a safe space at The Orange House for people of all sexual orientations and genders
  • Teaching the broader refugee community about LGBTQ+ rights
  • Ensuring all volunteers are LGBTQ+ friendly
  • Organizing LGBTQ+ social events to enable members of the community to meet and exchange with one another.

In those particular and challenging times of pandemic and movement restrictions, LGBTQ+ refugees and asylum seekers are even more vulnerable. Locked in the camps, they have no more access to the dedicated “Safe Spaces” where they used to spend a moment or the whole day to get some rest and/or relief. The number of calls and messages from isolated refugees and asylum seekers to ATLAS has seen a significant increase in the past two months. ATLAS remains active on WhatsApp and Facebook. 

Za’atar NGO, acting for  the protection, support and empowerment of all refugees and asylum seekers, is aware of the particularly difficult situations faced by the most vulnerable populations– unaccompanied minors, single women and LGBTQ+ refugees – and determined to stand for and with them. 

Contact us by searching ‘ATLAS (Aid To LGBTQ Asylum Seekers) on Facebook or http://www.facebook.com/groups/atlas LGBTQ/, calling +30 694 067 1666 or emailing contact@zaatarngo.org.

Find out more about Za’atar NGO and our other initiatives by visiting our website and Instagram!

zaatarngo.org

https://www.instagram.com/zaatarproject/

Closing the Book on Layali Shop’s Adventure: Looking Back on a Rich and Fulfilling Experience

One and a half years after our little shop opened its doors in the centre of Athens, the adventure of the Layali Shop has now come to an end. 

We are extremely grateful for the opportunity we were given by the city of Athens to use the local for free. We are very proud to have built and led this project to the furthest we could. Layali Shop, part of the greater Layali Project (our non-for-profit social enterprise), has provided valuable support for refugees and asylum seekers to sell their creations, improve their linguistic and artistic skills, find a space to invent, create, and feel empowered. 

Layali Salon, our eco-friendly hair salon, remains open by appointment. (Call +30 694 974 0754)

Thank you for supporting us in all our projects! 

Stay updated on all our adventures by following us on our social media.

Za’atar NGO 

Instagram : instagram.com/zaatarproject/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/zaatarngo

Project Layali 

www.projectlayali.org/

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/projectlayali/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/projectlayali/