Refugee inventions highlighted
Fish and chips, the Mini and designs at Hampton Court are being highlighted for Refugee Week starting on Sunday, as just three classic British things brought to these shores by people fleeing persecution.
As British as fish and chips is, the much loved combination was actually adopted in the UK after being brought here by Jewish refugees expelled from Portugal in the 17th century.
The creator of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, was a Greek refugee who fled Turkey in 1922; while Daniel Marot, who came to Britain after fleeing France in the late 17th century, did some design work at Hampton Court.
A list of 10 refugee contributions has been brought together to celebrate Refugee Week UK 2011, from June 20 to June 26.
This year is also the 60th anniversary of the UN Refugee Convention created to save the lives of people being persecuted in their own countries.
Other top achievements by refugees, listed by Refugee Week, include Marks and Spencer, co-founded in 1884 by Michael Marks, who came to the UK as a Jewish refugee, and the work of Sigmund Freud, the psychologist, who fled the Third Reich to live in the UK.
Almir Koldzic, head of Refugee Week UK, said: "Most people do not realise the invaluable contribution that refugees have made, and continue to make, to this country. This week we are celebrating the fact that things people here regard as typically British, such as fish and chips or the Mini, were actually created by refugees."
More information is available at www.refugeeweek.org.uk.