A group of Brussels-based activists, including staff from the European Parliament are hosting a migrant-based talent show this evening for “solidarity and humanity”.
Featuring five Syrian migrants, the event’s blurb entices would-be punters with the promise of singing, “their talent to the Eastern lute (Oud), the Kanoun [a kind of zither], the violin and the guitar”. Entry is €5 on the door — but free for ‘refugees’, of course — yet any politically uninterested fans of Levantine music won’t get away lecture-free.
In addition to the music promised at ‘Syrians Got Talent!’ are talks, as the “famous refugees” will “share their experiences with you… this evening is an opportunity to come together and share around a concert, everything that brings us together”.
Potentially sensitive to the icy reception migrants may have been receiving from some quarters since the Brussels bombings last week, the programme calls the event a “loud protest against the demonization of those Syrian refugees who bring a lot to Europe”.
Although the invitation encourages would-be concert goers to book in advance due to limited seating, there appears to be some concern over attendance of particular desired groups may be insufficient.
Taking to Facebook last night, French born co-organiser and European Parliament foreign policy adviser Schams El-Ghoneimi begged: “Friends, I URGENTLY need journalists to cover this in Brussels, they can call me directly to meet 5 WONDERFUL human beings who also happen to be Syrian refugees – and which will show their talent at this Thursday’s “SYRIANS GOT TALENT” event we’re organising near the EU Parliament”.
“My 5 syrian refugees friends are not just talented musicians: they each have a story to tell, dreams to share, in English/Dutch/French -if they have had time to learn it since their very recent arrival in Europe- or in Arabic (interpretation available).
“If you know a journalist who thinks THIS should get more media attention, please have them contact me directly for all the details”.
The invitation to the event makes clear the “anti-Fascist” sentiment of the evening, proclaiming the venue as the former home of artist Marcel Hastir, a member of the Second World War Belgian resistance.
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