16:30 . “My biggest disappointment is that I feel the political discourse has become a bit toxic around here and has worsened even. As someone who is a minority, who happens to be Muslim, the son of refugees…I feel that now we minorities are being used as tools in an ongoing battle between political forces in Europe.
Our sense of empathy has worsened. It’s almost as if we are taking harder and harder positions as to what human suffering means?”
Alfiaz is the Coordinator of the European Parliament’s Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup.
“ – I have to admit – it is true that when working for an EU institution, you can become detached from reality – especially if you’re in an office looking up from a grey box, everything looks pretty cool from here. Except that it isn’t.
At the same time, Brussels is also a place where people from communities come to talk about their issues – when we are able to meet them; we get a grasp of what is going on.
When it comes to Human rights and fundamental rights, the EU is also far more progressive than a lot of its member states taken individually.”
“ – I left the UK because I wanted to work for the EU. One of the proudest moments was when the European Parliament organised a mission to the UN in New York and allowed me to speak on racism.
You know that my parents were refugees from Uganda in the 70s, and only two weeks before my speech, we found a letter from my Grandfather to the UN High Commissioner for refugees – asking for help. This moment made my family very proud. I am proud to do the work that I do given my family background.”