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Refugee Week Malta 2024: Home is here

Centred around the theme of HOME , Refugee Week 2024 concluded successfully after a series of inclusive and festive activities. Here’s a short recap of a week marked by engagement and solidarity towards refugees in Malta.

Għeruq Imħabblin, by Chakid Zidi. A performance of artistic dances to highlight the plight of victims of war and abuses of all sorts. The live performance took place on June 20th at La Vallette Place in Valletta. Live recorded by Regine Nguini.


Refugee Week Malta 2024 officially kicked off on June 16 with a series of events designed to unite refugees, Maltese citizens, and expatriates residing in Malta. The week aimed to demonstrate to refugees that they are not alone, emphasizing the support from both local and international communities in Malta. The festivities featured football matches, art exhibitions, dances, concerts, a conference, and culminated with the "Spark Feast" closing ceremony on Sunday, June 24. During this ceremony, migrant advocacy NGOs presented their ongoing work, while refugee musicians enlivened the event with performances, singing, and dancing alongside the participants.


Notable Participants and Testimonials

This year event attracted notable figures such as former Maltese President, H.E. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, who participated in a panel alongside Parvina Munovarova, UNHCR Malta representative, Dutch Ambassador Djoeke Adimi, and Warsame Ali Garare, a Somali refugee who arrived in Malta in 2004 and has since become a lawyer, now based in Ireland.

Success stories are good but they are never individual.

Ali Daguerbi, a refugee and LGBTQI rights activist and member of MGRM ( Malta Gay Rights Movement) captivated the audience with his insights on the social realities of migrants and the important role of the host country support:

"I hear those who ask us to talk about success stories," he said "but a refugee will never succeed if they are not supported by members of the host community. Success stories are good but they are never individual. I had information about education thanks to Maria Pisani and about my legal rights thanks to Neil Falzon," he added, mentioning two significant figures in the Maltese activism scene.

Ali Daguerbi during the "Building Communities Together" conference, during the Refugee Week Malta 2024. Photo Regine Nguini

Highlights and Calls to Action

A particularly moving moment was Għeruq Imħabblin, a 40-minute performance of artistic dances directed by Chakib Zidi, a professional dancer and Tunisian refugee, also an LGBTQI activist. This performance was a protest against the death of thousands of innocent victims in conflicts, like in Palestine, as well as gender discrimination and activism in general.


Visible in order to exist

Refugees should be an integral part of their host countries and would benefit from greater visibility not only during events covering the World Refugee day, but in everyday life.

Ali Daguerbi is very passionate about fighting for visibility while recognising the difficult circumstances of refugees and the consequences of stigmatisation:

You need to attend conferences that talk about all subjects, not just those related to migration. You need to make local friends, you need to learn the language.
A young Ukrainian refugee is reading a statement in La Valette Place. the The Ukrainian community in Malta participated actively to the event. Photo Regine Nguini

Origins and Organization of Refugee Week Malta

Refugee Week Malta, now in its third year, is an initiative by Julienne Schembri, a contemporary dancer and somatic movement educator, and Deborah Falzon, a flamenco dancer and transcultural counselor. Their commitment and passion for dance and art have transformed the World Refugee Day into an essential event in Malta.


The March for peace started with drums and dances in front of parliament in Valletta. Live video by Regine Nguini.


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