“Just throw yourself in!”: Benefit Hike and Yoga, 27.05.2018

“The trick is to just throw yourself in, don’t think about it!” This was the teasing advice a bobbing head gave the rest of us who were edging our way into the icy waters of Pantano de San Juan. While this guidance may have been needed by those venturing in for a dip, there was no need for it to be said with regards to the day’s event as a whole as Madrid for Refugees, …

Campaigning to End the Exploitation of Domestic Workers in Lebanon: Documentary Screening, La Piscine, 30.05.2018

Ahmed Ali wants to make invisible people visible. “Their passports are confiscated when they arrive so they have absolutely no rights. Many work for 23 hours straight and have nowhere to sleep,” he tells a crowd of solemn listeners in alternating English and Spanish. “Sometimes they’re not even allowed to leave the house.” Ali is describing the plight of hundreds of thousands of domestic workers brought to Lebanon, often by means of smuggling or human …

Refugee Food Festival 2018, 19th-24th June

From the 19th to the 24th of June, the International Refugee Food Festival will return to Madrid. Eight restaurants will invite skilled refugee and asylum seeker chefs into their kitchens where they will work hand in hand with the resident kitchen chefs and teams to put on a unique menu showcasing the authentic culinary heritage of their home cultures. This will be the third edition of the festival, the second in Madrid, which was first cooked …

Venezuelan Cuisine with Valentín: Chef, Teacher, and Entertainer, Chefugee Cooking Class, 12.05.2018

I arrived at my second Chefugee cooking class at El Gabinete de Historia Natural near Puerta del Sol and was surprised to be welcomed into a beautiful old history museum. The space, which has been reimagined as a center for community events, is filled with ancient relics, pottery from all over the world, and even the mounted skull from some large, horned mammal. I was greeted warmly at the door and ushered into a large, …

Hiking, Health, and Happiness: Benefit Hike and Yoga, 05.05.2018

There are very few things that truly nurture health in its entirety, that being health of the body, mind, and community, but Madrid for Refugees’ (MFR) Benefit Hikes most certainly do. The event involves a guided hike starting from Cercedilla through the surrounding mountainside and incorporates a relaxing yoga session, with an idyllic backdrop. Hikers are simply asked to pay a suggested donation of €15 with all the proceeds going to MFR directly assisting in …