Former students share experiences for Refugee Week

Published: 4 June 2019 at 15:00

Ghaith Jalabneh

Three free talks will be given by Anglia Ruskin University alumni on 19 June

Three former Anglia Ruskin University students with first-hand experience of the challenges facing those fleeing from conflict will give free talks as part of Refugee Week 2019.

The three separate talks will take place at Anglia Ruskin’s Cambridge campus on Wednesday, 19 June.

At 1pm, the first talk will be given by Mary Stretch, a former BBC journalist, who will talk about Calais Light – an initiative she founded that organises regular volunteer car-sharing convoys to refugee camps in Calais.

The charity makes all the arrangements for like-minded people who want to help refugees living in inhuman conditions, and they have so far made 11 trips over the English Channel.

This will be followed at 6pm when Ghaith Jalabneh will share his experience of working with UNICEF since 2012, supporting Syrian refugees within Jordan’s refugee camps. As part of the talk, he will focus on education programmes and centres providing access to learning support services and child-protection to vulnerable young people. He will also explore the challenges faced in such an environment.

Finally, at 7pm, Anglia Ruskin welcomes back Hameeda Hussaini, who will speak about her own personal journey. She left Afghanistan aged 13 and spoke no English when she came to the UK. However, in 2017 she graduated with a first-class Law degree from Anglia Ruskin.

Hameeda will speak about the challenges and obstacles she faced on arrival in the UK, and how she found the confidence to overcome her self-doubts and achieve her dream of studying Law.

Miriam Berg, Public Engagement Officer at Anglia Ruskin University, said:

“We are delighted to be able to welcome back Mary, Ghaith and Hameeda to give their very personal perspectives on life facing people fleeing from conflict across the world.

“All three have inspiring tales and I hope to see many people from our Cambridge community come along to our campus for these talks.”

All three talks are free to attend, but places must be booked in advance. For further details, visit