About Kurdish Exile Association (KEA)
In 1996 has been founded by a group of Kurdish people (Ata Mufty, Kanar Hamarash,
Nastaran Hisami, Amir Algore and Soran Hamarash) who lived in London and sensed
the need for an association to support artists and writers and intellectuals to
continue in their activities while they live in exile. KEA promoted excellent
relations with most of the other Kurdish Organisations in London towards serving
Kurdish community in the best way possible.
It is worth mentioning that KEA was a volunteer based association which has been
supported by its members and management comity for more than three years with no
office. In 1999 because of increasing activities the management comity decided
to maintain activities in an office.
Although KEA is a 'Kensington and Chelsea' borough based association but it has
extended its activities to all the Kurdish People in abroad and in Kurdistan
through publications and the website. KEA played an active role in stimulating
cultural, political and intellectual debate amongst the Kurdish community
abroad and in Kurdistan
- The advancement of the education and training for employment.
- preservation of Kurdish culture and heritage.
- To support disadvantaged groups including women, children, disabled people and elderly people.
- Promote health awareness and access to mainstream services.
- Promote Human rights issues.
KEA's activities in 1996 and 1997 can be best described as:
1- Supporting Kurdish refugees who lived in London through interpretation
or through immigration, health or benefit advocacy in order to help them settle
and integrate to the society.
2- Arranging parties, conferences and social meetings in the national
or other anniversaries for the Kurdish individual and families who lived in the
borough of Chelsea and the Greater London.
In 1999 for the first time KEA in an office, Asia Ramzi started managing the office
as the first volunteer coordinator. KEA witnessed a major improvement during that
period; she established a wide network with all the volunteer and governmental
organizations with in and outside the borough.
In 2000, KEA's management comity decided to expand the activities by focusing on
young people and children, therefore in 2001 started a project with 'Kurdish Association'
for teaching Kurdish language to the children and young people. In the same year a monthly
journal was produced a called 'Youth Payam'.
'Youth Payam' was produced for young people by themselves. It was crucial for the children
and young people to be able to publish their view and articles about all the issues concerning them.
The younger generation of the Kurdish community in London were welcoming the project;
they did support it to produce 6 issues of 2000 copy each.
Simultaneously KEA had strong network with other organisations like 'Refugee Housing
Association' and most of the Kurdish organisations, this way we could support many
refugees in getting houses or temporary accommodations or other kind of needs for the
Kurdish refugees. In addition we would help and advice the students who would like to study.
On the annual bases we have participated in the festival and other parties or general
arrangements in the borough in particular the Portobello festival which we participated
with dance and music performance which has been outstanding presented by the Zahawi
Brothers, Halabja Children Music Group and Rega Music Team who actively illustrated
some Kurdish cultural background.
One of the other activities was supporting Kurdish music groups like 'Rega' which was founded
by a group of Kurdish enthusiastic energetic artists. In many occasions we would arrange parties
together. For the first time one of their production was archived in a project called "Music in
the Grove" in which some international groups participated, a copy of the music is archived by BBC.
Appreciation party for the Kurdish Singer "Hamay Nergz" was another joint activity for encouraging
the artists to continue in production and appreciate their work, which we arranged with Tabernacle
and some other Kurdish organisations, in presence of some other Kurdish artists like Golistan Parwar,
Shahen Talabani, Zhala, Nariman Sdiq, Tara Jaff, Hama Jaff and two famous Kurdish painters Rebwar
Said and Ali Mandalawi.
In year 2000 we organized another joint Appreciation Party for the great writer "Hawar" in the
same centre 'Tabernacle' by collaboration with Tabernacle and some of the Kurdish organizations.
In that party a large number of Kurdish writers and intellectuals were present for appreciation
of his valuable works in all the fields.
Since 2003 "Dana Salam" joined KEA as volunteer coordinator at first and now as the part timer
coordinator for the projects that are running at the moment.
It is about four years that KEA is member of "community Refugee Forum" that has more than 30
different organizations. KEA is also participating in creating an umbrella organization for
the Kurdish community in London to unify some of the activities.