Highgate, Birmingham, West Midlands B5, UK

Like A Phoenix We Will Rise From The Ashes #TeamYTV #TeamRadioNxtGen

The most traumatic thing happened yesterday. Something I had hoped I would never have to encounter. I have seen fires all over the place before and couldn't even imagine how devastating and scary an experience it could be until I was actually faced with it first hand. So it seemed only natural I talk about it here.

I am General Manager at Ulfah Arts & Media. We are home to Youth Television and Radio Nxt Gen. Ulfah Arts is a creative social enterprise that uses arts and media as tools of social empowerment. We develop Radio, film and performing art projects, which engage diverse social groups as artists, media producers and audience members. 

A key part of our work is professional and personal mentoring which encourages the participants in engaging with mainstream. This gives them an opportunity to contribute towards wider society by overcoming their misconceptions about people from diverse backgrounds. All training in media and art skills is given by a team of highly experienced professionals who also help the participants in overcoming disadvantages through creative skills. 

'Ulfah" means harmony and as such, is one of the principles that form the basis of our work. Unfortunately at 5am on Tuesday 20th May somebody viciously broke into our studios and deliberately set fire to them.  This arson attack left our studios completely gutted and bare. I have genuinely never seen something so devastating. Not just because of the fire and the material loss for the company but the fact that someone would do this deliberately to a not for profit organisation that believes in youth empowerment for all genders, races and walks of life. So much of the amazingly hard working young peoples work was lost forever. Film making is a long process and we offer life changing experiences to go abroad and film. The group who had been to Turkey had just finished editing their work. We only hope in the wreckage we can recover the hard drive to find their work. The thought that these young people who work hard for their community to try and make a difference in the world had become a victim of hate crime is just revolting. 

The fire has left us with nothing a shell of our former studio. As a team we are working to get through this though and we refuse to let the hatred of ignorant people in the world (who target us for our Islamic work)  win We will work harder than ever to fight for what we always have and that is social change justice and Free speech for all. You can find us on Twitter, Facebook . Supporting our campaign and spreading awareness will help us amazingly. A massive shout out to all the brave and hard working volunteers who have been talking to press, clearing up and being supportive. I am so proud of our young people for banding together in such a crisis, proof our work is for the greater good. #TeamYTV #YoucantburnULfah #teamRadioNxtGen. I will leave you with some pictures of the destruction. 


back to top