As part of our celebration of International Women's Day 2019, we are delighted to be joined by Rania Ali, Freelance journalist/filmmaker and Taban Shoresh, Founder of The Lotus Flower charity, for a screening of Escape from Syria: Rania's Odyssey (22:09). The screening will be followed by an in-depth panel discussion on creative ways of overcoming adversity and will mark the launch of an exhibition of photographs documenting the stories of women involved with The Lotus Flower. The event will be chaired by Sonali Naik QC of Garden Court Chambers.
|Date:||Monday 4 March 2019|
|Time:||6:30pm - 8:00pm|
|Venue:||Garden Court Chambers|
The theme for International Women's Day 2019 is #BalanceForBetter. Our panellists are strong advocates for this and while we know that gender parity won't happen overnight, we believe that gathering together to share experiences and challenges will help us to motivate and unite friends, colleagues and communities to think, act and build a gender-balanced world.
About the panel
Sonali Naik QC, Garden Court Chambers (Chair)
Sonali has worked for over 25 years as a barrister and is a true leader in her fields of specialism of public law, immigration and asylum. She has been a member of Garden Court Chambers since 1998.
Within these areas she has built a diverse practice covering human rights, lawfulness of detention, national security and naturalisation. A large amount of Sonali’s work concerns strategic litigation, often challenging Home Office policy requiring considerable skill in evidential analysis, creative and innovative thinking and written and oral persuasion. Many of Sonali’s cases concern very vulnerable clients and involve highly complex, sensitive and difficult issues, often requiring urgent action due to the circumstances of the case.
Sonali formerly worked in the NGO sector. She currently chairs Liberty, and is a trustee of Freedom from Torture, an Advisory Council member of JUSTICE, a trustee of the Immigrants’ Aid Trust (part of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) and a Patron of the Clean Break theatre company working with women ex-offenders. In 2018 she was appointed Queen’s Counsel (QC) and was named Black Solicitors Network (BSN) Lawyer of the Year at the UK Diversity Legal Awards. She is currently one of only 22 practicing BAME women QCs.
Rania Ali, Freelance journalist/filmmaker
Rania Ali is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker who works on a freelance basis. Her career began in her native Syria where she documented on film the violations committed by various fighters. She then filmed her journey from Syria to Europe, and the resulting documentary, Escape from Syria: Rania’s Odyssey, was later published by the Guardian. It has been viewed almost 9 million times on Facebook alone and has earned her a Webby Award, a One World Media Award and various other high-profile nominations.
Now based in Vienna, Rania is leading on the project Living Together that she founded with the Swiss NGO, Terre Des Hommes, which seeks to provide positive examples of cultures living side-by-side. She is also currently working on a variety of projects with Amnesty International.
Rania is an ambassador for The Lotus Flower.
Taban Shoresh, Founder, The Lotus Flower
Taban founded The Lotus Flower in 2016 with the mission of breaking the boundaries and borders which prevent women and girls from having access to opportunities and transforming their lives. The charity is currently fundraising to help expand and extend the project’s reach to support as many of the approximate 30 million displaced people around the world.
A child genocide survivor herself, Taban has experience of being in hiding, fleeing her home, dodging mines, bombs and bullets and of personal tragedy. Her father, a political activist, was on Saddam Hussein’s ‘Most Wanted’ list when she was just four years old and, following imprisonment, her family narrowly escaped being burned alive and becoming part of the Kurdish (Anfal) genocide in 1986.
Taban started out her career at an Investment Asset Management firm, while raising her young son. In 2014, at the request of the Kurdistan Regional Government, she spoke publically for the first time about her experience at the House of Lords which was a real turning point in her life. In 2017 and 2018 her charity, The Lotus Flower, set-up three centres in Kurdistan, Northern Iraq.
In 2014 she was honoured with the Hearst Bravery Award, in 2016 she was a finalist in Red Magazine’s prestigious Women of the Year Awards and was highly commended for her work. In addition to this she won a Peace Award granted by the Universal Peace Federation and delivered a key-note speech at One Young World alongside Sir Bob Geldof, the late Kofi Annan and many other notable world figures in 2017.