‘Syrian Song and Conversation Café' 

A Taste of Birmingham

February 2022


In Spring 2020, we received funding from BCC’s SVPRS scheme, Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement scheme, to work with a group of Syrian women and girls, newly arrived in Birmingham over the past five years. We met some of the women on our “What community means to me“project, and were keen to develop our relationship.


We wrote songs which explored the impact of lockdown, missing family members, and what it means to be a woman. The group were keen to write in English, and develop their language skills. BMAG has included one of the songs “Planted a lot of flowers”, in their “Life under Lockdown” project.

Our Syrian Song and Conversation Cafe project was participant centred and led, so women shared their Syrian culture with us, taught us some Dabke dance moves and shared their wonderful food. The women shared their hopes and dreams for the future.


During the pandemic, we adapted and met on zoom, and this helped all of us to stay connected and share the challenges we were facing  We delivered doorstep packs of craft materials and lyric packs of children’s songs, to help with home schooling and engage new participants. BMAG kindly partnered with us on the initiative.

We plan to continue working with the women beyond this project, and have been invited to perform the songs at BMAG when they reopen. We look forward to some of the women volunteering with us, and seeing the group realise their new ambitions, as they settle into life in Birmingham.


Many thanks are due to our wonderful translator Christina Williams and also to our partner organisations who helped the project succeed: 

Julie Barton Navigator Project

Rosie Barker at BMAG

Azra Rasool at Refugee Alliance

Iram Choudry and the resettlement team at BCC

Thanks also to Elona photographer and Rihab Azar, oud player for their contributions.

'What Community Means To Me'

2nd December 2019

We are delighted to announce that we have received a National Lottery Community Fund grant to run a Community Arts Project for women, What Community Means to Me.

We will be offering a mix of one-off workshops and series of participatory song writing workshops from January to March 2020 in Birmingham. We will create new songs to be shared on-line and in workshops. You don’t need any previous musical experience to take part – just come along to meet new women and talk and sing together.

Our partners include:



George Dixon Primary School


Moseley Community Hub at The School of Art

The Real Junk Food Project

Refugee Action in the West Midlands

South Birmingham Women’s Enterprise Hub

St George’s school, Ladywood.

Working with our community partners will enable us to offer workshops to women who are disadvantaged: women experiencing domestic violence and abuse; women who are asylum seekers or refugees; women with mental health issues; women who feel lonely and socially isolated; and mothers in deprived communities in Birmingham.

The project will culminate in a sharing event in Birmingham City Centre to celebrate International Women’s Day in March 2020, showcasing the voices of disadvantaged or isolated women and girls from the city. At this event, participants from the workshops will share their lyrics and songs with each other and with members of the public.

Please get in touch with us if you would like to support the project or introduce us to women who would like to participate. Contact Lou Atkin or through our website and follow us on Twitter @InHerShoes5