Refugees, stories and tea
Cross-cultural workers associated with CMS are helping prepare a new book documenting the lives of Arab women forced to flee their home countries.
Sally Bathgate, who – along with her husband Ben and their three children – works among urban refugees in the Middle East, decided to write a book to give women living under di cult circumstances a voice.
The book’s creative director and co-writer, fellow refugee worker Katrina Gulbrandsen, explains. “We want to introduce readers to the real, living, breathing faces of the current refugee crisis. By providing readers with personal and cultural insights into their lives we hope to trigger interest in Arabic culture and people, which will in turn challenge attitudes, hearts and minds, start conversations and kindle compassion and action.”
The book, titled Tea and Thread: portraits of Arab women far from home, is expected to be ready for publication early next year. The book will contain colour photos and first-hand stories from 20 Arab women detailing their experience as refugees, while also sharing crafts and recipes from their homelands with readers.
A crowd-funding campaign is now underway on chuffed.org – a website dedicated to social and non- profit causes – to help pay for the design, printing and distribution of Tea and Thread. Already at least $7625 had been raised towards the $25,000 goal with the assistance of Anglican Aid.
The Bathgates, who have spent three years working among locals and refugees and developing their Arabic, plan to return to Sydney soon to minister in the southwestern suburbs.