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Pictured: Benone barbecue for Syrian refugees in Northern Ireland

Published 06/09/2016

Assia Sourani (right) Najah Shamsalden(centre) Udha Albero (right). Pic Gerry Temple
Assia Sourani (right) Najah Shamsalden(centre) Udha Albero (right). Pic Gerry Temple
Shireen Rami and Lilian Seenoi. Pic: Gerry Temple
Mohamed Sourani (right) Assia Sourani (left) and their children. Pic Gerry Temple
Najah Shamsalden, Lilian Seenoi,Assia Sourani.Pic: Gerry Temple
BBQ on Benone Beach. Pic Gerry Temple
BBQ on Benone Beach. Pic Gerry Temple
BBQ on Benone Beach. Pic Gerry Temple

A family barbecue has been held for Syrian refugees living in Northern Ireland.

The event organised by the North West Migrants Forum took place on Benone beach.

It was held as part of the Community and Refugee Encounter (CARE) project.

The project coordinator said they had fears that the event would have been disrupted following the ongoing Burkini debate.

Earlier this month a French court overturned a ban on burkinis issued in Cannes - the first in a series of bans on the swimwear this summer that set off a heated controversy at home and a wave of outrage abroad.

The decision followed a ruling by a top French court regarding a similar ban in the Riviera town of Villeneuve-Loubet that set a legal precedent.

The bans grew increasingly controversial as images circulated online of some Muslim women being ordered to remove body-concealing garments on French Riviera beaches.

Read more:

French court overturns Cannes burkini ban  

Project coordinator Lilian Seeoni said: "We are delighted that the families had a fantastic time in Benone beach. The event was very well attended by members of the general public, migrants and all the Syrian families in Derry-Londonderry.

"After very strong opinions expressed through our Facebook account and the ongoing Burkini debate, we were concerned that the event may be disrupted.

"However we felt very relaxed and free to enjoy the Barbeque and the beautiful beach experience without any interference.

"I would like to thank the Police for keeping us safe. We had two police officers who spent the whole day  with us. they even let the children  explore and play with their van.

"The families were very grateful  to have them there. They felt supported and that they belong. We hope that we will be able to organise another event next summer. "

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