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08 September 2016


President of the Hellenic Olympic Committee Spiros Kapralos (2nd L) hands over the Olympic Flame to Syrian refugee Ibrahim al-Hussein (2nd R), an amputee swimmer, during the Olympic Flame torch relay at the Eleonas refugee camp in Athens, Greece, April 26, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis

Paralympic Syrian Swimmer, Iran Discus Thrower Hope to Put Spotlight on Refugees

Brazil – After losing his leg in Syria's civil war and escaping his native land, Ibrahim Al Hussein never imagined he would be competing with the world's top disabled athletes in Brazil as one of two members of the first refugee team in the Paralympics, writes Chris Arsenault on Thomson Reuters Foundation News.

A swimmer in Syria before the war, coached by his father, Al Hussein fled first to Turkey and then onto Europe after losing one of his legs in 2013.

"My friends helped me across the border. I used sticks to walk," Al Hussein told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview ahead of the opening of the 2016 Paralympic Games on Sept. 7.

"Now I dream of being the first paralympic refugee to win a gold medal," said the 27-year-old who will compete in the 50 metre and 100 metre free-style swimming races.

Al Hussein and Iranian athlete Shahrad Nasajpour, a refugee who lives in the United States, are the two refugee athletes in the Paralympics. Nasajpour, who has cerebral palsy, will compete in the discus event.

More than 4,300 athletes with physical and intellectual disabilities from 160 plus countries will be in Rio to compete in 22 sports, including swimming, power lifting, wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball.

Read on



Samburu County, Kenya (Pic: Africa Progress Panel/Edward Harris/Flickr)

Can ‘Smart Migration’ Build Climate Resilience in Africa?

Kenya – Researchers in Kenya’s Samburu county find households where at least one member has migrated have the capacity to adopt better adaptation measures, writes Lou Del Bello in Climate Home.

When higher temperatures and dry spells make the lives of farmers a daily struggle, many choose to move away from their homeland and try their luck elsewhere.

It’s a painful choice, and one that leaves families and entire communities culturally displaced, altering their way of life irreparably.

But sometimes, migration doesn’t have to be the only alternative to adaptation – it can complement it.

That is the surprising finding of a team of researchers who set out to investigate the lifestyles of five hundred agro-pastoralists in different parts of Samburu county in Kenya, a semi-arid region increasingly affected by climate change.

Read on





Sulleman gained vital professional experience at the Commonwealth Bank in Australia. He returned to Kenya with assistance from the Intergovernmental Committee for Migration's (ICM), now IOM, Return of Talent Programme, bringing with him vital skills to Kenya's banking sector. Follow us.

Migration in the News
  • Euronews reported that new figures from IOM show that fewer people are crossing the Mediterranean Sea, but more are perishing on the crossing to Europe.

  • Radio Tamazuj reported that humanitarian aid has been denied access in parts of South Sudan on Wednesday, according to IOM.

Trending on the Internet


  • Los Angeles Times reported a new UNICEF report revealed that 50 million children were driven from their homes as of last year, more than half of them by conflict and persecution, and the rest in search of a better life..

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