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Byron Shire
March 22, 2023

‘Extraordinary’ and ‘powerful’ documentary showing on April 5

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We all live in a magic submarine…

Several commentators have remarked that, while the mainstream media is locked in furious agreement with the government over AUKUS and the trillion dollar submarines (a guess at the final price tag), social and independent media are telling quite a different tale.

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Ballina Region for Refugees will present the inspirational movie And Still I Sing at the Byron Theatre on the evening of April 5 to raise funds for its refugee resettlement program.

Two Syrian families are now living in Ballina and Byron shires, with a third family coming in the next couple of months.

A screen shot from the documentary ‘And Still I Sing’. Image supplied

The group plan to help two more refugee families make new lives in our region before the end of 2023.  Funds are urgently needed for accommodation, transport, food and household expenses etc to help the families integrate into their new communities.

An extraordinary documentary by Afghan filmmaker Fazila Amiri, And Still I Sing is the remarkable story of three female singers from Afghanistan who courageously use their voices to stand up for women’s rights despite threats of violence and even death.

Zahra and Sadiqa are contestants on Afghan Star – Afghanistan’s hit version of American Idol. They are mentored by trailblazing pop singer and Afghan Starjudge Aryana Sayeed, fighting against oppression and misogyny as they compete to become the show’s first female winner.

Pop music was banned by the Taliban during their previous reign from 1996-2001. As one of Afghanistan’s most famous pop stars, Sayeed received countless death threats and fled the country before returning after the regime’s fall. As well as Afghan Star she is also planning a concert in Kabul, hoping to unite the nation in celebration of the 100th anniversary of independence from British rule. But the threat of violence is ever present, and it has to be organised through the right channels to ensure security but without tipping off the Taliban who are moving ever closer to the capital.

And Still I Sing follows the heroic personal journeys of all three during the tumultuous time-frame leading up to the 2021 American troop withdrawal and Taliban takeover.  This is a dramatic saga that will leave you riveted and inspired by female strength and the fortitude of brave Afghan women to keep on keeping on.

The screening will take place from 7pm-8.45pm on April 5 at the Byron Theatre on Jonson Street, Byron Bay.

For more information visit the Theatre’s website.

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      • Yep, I think Australian people matter – and you see a problem with that and make a comment that is nothing other than a personal attack. And it gets printed.


      • Australian people matter more for the same reason your own child matters more than everyone else’s. I don’t want your child to starve, but when resources get low, I will commit whatever espionage or violence required to make sure it’s my child that survives. Destroy our reliable energy sources, shutdown our farms, while importing 400,000 hungry mouths a year, and what do you think it going to happen? My tribe first!

    • The homelessness problem is long standing, not created by helping refugees.
      Blaming ‘the other’ is a convenient look over there escape/ excuse when it is successive state and federal governments that are the problem who have zero genuine interest in dealing with the whole issue of housing and homelessness.

      • Yes, there are long term problems which need solving.

        But, no, it is not an “excuse” to say we should not be bringing more people when we already have a shortage of housing for those already here.

        It is a simple concept to understand, that those who currently cannot access housing in our community will certainly find it harder to do so – and more of the FAIL to do so – if we create more competition for the same number of housing opportunities.

        You cannot support bringing more people here without being callous towards those who currently cannot access housing. IT IS AN ACT OF CALLOUSNESS

      • ‘Westpac: Record immigration drives “sharp escalation in rents”’
        ‘Westpac estimates that the stronger than forecast immigration “adds about 30k a year to the underlying demand for new dwellings taking it to just over 200k a year”.’


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