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Honey and hope

11 Nov 2020
By Mathilde Savary, Public Programme Curator

In this podcast, Mathilde Savary talks to Ali Alzein (founder of Bees & Refugees) about rebuilding vulnerable communities - human and insect.

In the sea of negative news about our global environmental crises and Covid-19, it seems more important than ever to celebrate the people in our community that are driving positive change.

In recent and ongoing news, we read accounts of individuals and families forced to leave their homes and risking their lives crossing the channel and international waters. These are physically and emotionally traumatic experiences and Ali Alzein's Bees & Refugees initiative hopes to offer support to those who have endured them.

Launched in February 2020, Bees & Refugees organises beekeeping workshops to provide refugees and other vulnerable individuals in London a place of respite, connection to nature and community. As part of his endeavour Ali teaches the importance of ethical beekeeping practices, working with the endangered native Black Bee to support its reintroduction in Britain. The beehives and workshops are located in and around London, including Oasis Farm – a haven of nature tucked away in Waterloo. Long-term, Bees & Refugees hopes to take the therapeutic benefits of beekeeping to individuals in refugee camps around the world. 

This podcast is the result of Mathilde Savary’s visit to Ali's home in Hammersmith on a crisp October day. Ali grew up in Damascus, the capital city of Syria also known as ‘The City of Jasmin’. With a cup of Damask rose tea Mathilde sat down with Ali to learn about Damascus, the Syrian War, the role of nature in cities, and Ali's work to support both human and bee communities. She also managed to brush-up on a bee fact or two. 


Building Centre · Bees & Refugees


Find out more about Bees & Refugees on Instagram and GoFundMe.  


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