Zarith participated as an amnbassador for this year's international migrants day

In the week leading up to International Migrants Day (18 December), we celebrate everyone who has moved across international borders, whether by choice or necessity.  

This year we have partnered up with IOM and IMIX to highlight the voice of Zarith, one of the people that we are currently supporting and a lived experience ambassador of the International Migrants Day Ambassador Programme.      

Zarith is a journalist, a poet, and a “wannabe astronaut”, as he describes himself. He came to the UK to start a new life, free from harm, and is currently awaiting a decision on whether this government will allow him to live in safety in the UK. If he is granted asylum, he hopes to continue his studies at University College London.    

He recently told Pink News: “We are people. We have lots to give. We want to add value to the country that we are in, and I’m really sad if the UK is going to [regress] in terms of human rights and protection for asylum seekers. That would be a really dark day for the UK.” 

Here is part of his blog:  

From a boy who runs around the village half- naked with my mum’s veil, while playing at serving ‘regal ’ afternoon tea to becoming a young scientist at 13, it has been a global soul searching for me to fit in somewhere I can safely and finally call my ‘home’. Born in a tropical island in Malaysia, a multicultural home set a deeply rooted, dynamic and diverse foundation that would carry me in various parts of the world. Not much interested in ‘manly ’sports in my younger days, romantic English literature from the likes of Jane Austen & William Wordsworth took me to faraway misty English countryside, often fantasising of my knight in shining armour. Thanks to my sister, she also introduced me to classical music, and I demanded to learn to play piano and master a few languages. 

As a chubby kid who loved a myriad of intercultural gastronomic delights, food has become central to one of my passions which is cooking. Having a beloved grandmother on my side who cooked almost every day, she lovingly hand-fed me simple, flavourful, home cooked meals. Having both of my parents who worked full time, my late grandmother was not only my source of inspiration but also the most altruistic soul who instilled in me bountiful gentleness, affection, empathy, and kindness to become the softhearted person that I am today. I could not thank her enough to be in my formative life to my mid teenage years. When she passed on, it was the biggest blow in my entire life as I felt as my wings had been clipped & my heart had been wrenched out of my ribcage. I remember reading her newspaper articles in her later years as she was unable to read due to her vision impairment, not knowing that I would become a journalist one day. 

Continue reading Zarith’s blog