They are poets, rappers, dancers or actors. Both professional or amateur, coming from Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Syria, Palestine or Libya.
All refugees, they were took part in the talent contest organized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Morocco.
For this competition titled “Refugees got talent”, participants gave their best in front of the four judges selecting the finalists. For Arthur, an artiste of Cameroonian origin, it was such “a joy to see people enjoy what they do.”
I participated ... to represent Syrian refugees in the Kingdom of Morocco and the situation of Syrian refugees in Arab countries and in the world.
Arthur arrived in Morocco two years ago – at the start of his dream of a new life in Europe – and obtained his refugee card last year.
He gets deeply involved in the syncopal choreography of his group, “The Fantastics”, during rehearsals.
“It is a great opportunity for us to meet people, to discover the culture of other countries, instead of sitting at home with the same routine,” enthuses Mahmoud, a 23-year-old Palestinian from the Gaza Strip.
Talent in full bloom
An actor by profession, he presents a play in which he hosts an old man in Sarouel whose son wants to pursue a dream of an artistic career. His friend Mohamed, 23, wrote the play with him.
After being invited by a Moroccan festival, the two young Palestinians were unable to return home; they remained in Morocco when they learned that the border crossing through which they had transited, in Egypt, had closed.
Another refugee, Abir emotionally performed a song by Egyptian diva Oum Kalthoum, accompanied by a Moroccan virtuoso of oud. This Syrian woman who fled the repression of the regime with her husband and three children has been living for five years in Tangier in the north of the country.
“The main reason why I participated was to represent Syrian refugees in the Kingdom of Morocco and the situation of Syrian refugees in Arab countries and in the world,” she said.
Like her, all the winners were rewarded with a supermarket voucher of a hundred euros.
The competition was open to all registered refugees in the kingdom, a little over 5,000 people from 38 countries, a figure that has soared by 300% in three years, mainly due to the closure of European borders.