UNITED: an afternoon of music and Poetry for World Refugee Day 2021

Sunday, June 20 at 2:00pm – 3:30pm

As a celebration of all the art and ideas, culture and beauty that refugees bring to our communities MAP BC invites you to attend a live concert of music and poetry on Sunday June 20 – World Refugee Day!

This traditional MAP World Refugee Day event brings culture from the four corners of the globe to remind us how refugees enhance our communities by sharing what is intrinsically theirs.

This year we welcome again two contributors originally from Syria who now call BC ‘home’.

Rawan Moon a Syrian refugee: I have been in Canada for 3 years and 6 months. Back in Syria I worked as a biologist in a pharmaceutical company, then as a teacher for high school. Now, I have a passion for helping refugees like me to resettle in Canada. I dedicated my time to be a volunteer with a community centre that works with refugees. Then I got an opportunity to be a part of the VAST team (Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture) as an Arabic interpreter and Intake support worker and I am also now a group Facilitator at VAST, and an interpreter at Mosaic. Poetry is one of my favorite hobbies and I continue to practice it in Canada. 

Sari Alesh is an internationally recognized violinist. Sari was classically trained in Damascus and before the war broke out in Syria he toured Europe and the Middle East with the Syrian National Symphony Orchestra. Since arriving in Canada in February of 2016, Sari has been focusing on playing music again, continually improving his English and rebuilding his life in his new country.

Originally from Malawi Tamanya-Waka is an international reggae artist, based in British Columbia with over 15 years experience in the music industry: composing, writing, arranging, recording and performing. She arrived on the international scene in 2014 with her song ‘Soldier’, which is available widely. Her passion continues as she preaches the word of love, unity and sensitization about abuse.

Hassan Al Kontar was raised in a prosperous Syrian home, the middle child of a mechanical engineer and a nurse. He is known as ‘man at the Airport’ after spending seven months at Kuala Lumpur International Airport. Now a permanent resident of Canada based in Vancouver, Hassan is employed by the Canadian Red Cross and continues to advocate for refugees around the world. He is the author of the newly released book ‘Man@the_airport’.


Our host is Saleem Spindari who has a passion for social justice and strives to support those in need. As a former refugee himself, Saleem has been active in advocating for refugees, immigrants, migrant workers and other marginalized groups. He is Senior Manager of Refugee and Migrant Workers Programs at MOSAIC and the recipient of the Service Recognition Staff Award from AMSSA.


Sunday June 20 at 2pm PST 

UNITED: an afternoon of music and Poetry

Opening by MAP Co-chair Jenny Lam (Options Community Society)

Saleem Spindari introduces and chats with performers:

  • Sari Alesh – violin
  • Rawan Moon – poetry
  • Tamanya Waka – reggae
  • Hassan Al Kontar – author of The Man @ The Airport

Closing for 2021 and a message to keep us UNITED.