International artist Salma Zulfiqar outlined her work among immigrant and refugee communities at a meeting of campaigners against hate crime.

Members of the campaign group West Midlands Together heard how her workshops used artworks and installations to promote harmony and integration.

Hailing from Smethwick, Birmingham, she worked for the United Nations Organisation with female refugees in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran and Sudan before setting up the Migration Project back in Birmingham.

She said: "Art has an important role to play in promoting peace as it helps  women open up to discuss things they never have before. Religion does not come into it and I have no political affiliations - it's about people feeling comfortable and having a frank conversation."

Anthea McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands and founder of West Midlands Together, said: "It was fascinating to hear how Salma uses her artistic talent and creativity to engage with women who might otherwise feel isolated.

"The art work provides the perfect safe space for people to start to reach out beyond their immediate families and community.

"The goals of Salma's Migration Project chime perfectly with our own and I hope we can continue to work together."

West Midlands Together was founded by Miss McIntyre and her Labour colleague Neena Gill as a cross-party initiative following a spike in hate crime after the 2016 referendum.

 

 

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2018/06/uk-first-operational-hydrogen-train-unveiled.aspx

West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre today welcomed the unveiling of a groundbreaking hydrogen-powered railway train which has been developed in her region.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative spokesman on  employment in the European Parliament, hailed the launch as "a key pointer to our greener future".

She spoke as the train, called the Hydrogen Hero, was unveiled by Birmingham University's Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education (BCRRE).

The UK’s first fully operating hydrogen train was on show at Rail Live 2019 at Quinton Rail Technology Centre, Warwickshire,  an annual event showcasing UK rail expertise.

Miss McIntyre said: "Hydrogen fuel cell technology means that potentially carbon-free trains can replace diesel on our lines without electrification.

"It creates electricity from oxygen in the air and the only by-product is water.

"The train on show was a scaled down version but I understand the design is ready right now to develop for full-size, full-scale production."

"This is a key pointer to how our transport can be cleaner and greener...and I am so proud that it has been developed and showcased right here in the West Midlands. This is a place where cutting edge science works alongside manufacturing know-how and that is a powerful combination."

https://www.birmingham.ac.uk/news/latest/2018/06/uk-first-operational-hydrogen-train-unveiled.aspx

West Midlands MEP Anthea McIntyre today welcomed the unveiling of a groundbreaking hydrogen-powered railway train which has been developed in her region.

Miss McIntyre, Conservative spokesman on  employment in the European Parliament, hailed the launch as "a key pointer to our greener future".

She spoke as the train, called the Hydrogen Hero, was unveiled by Birmingham University's Birmingham Centre for Rail Research and Education (BCRRE).

The UK’s first fully operating hydrogen train was on show at Rail Live 2019 at Quinton Rail Technology Centre, Warwickshire,  an annual event showcasing UK rail expertise.

Miss McIntyre said: "Hydrogen fuel cell technology means that potentially carbon-free trains can replace diesel on our lines without electrification.

"It creates electricity from oxygen in the air and the only by-product is water.

"The train on show was a scaled down version but I understand the design is ready right now to develop for full-size, full-scale production."

"This is a key pointer to how our transport can be cleaner and greener...and I am so proud that it has been developed and showcased right here in the West Midlands. This is a place where cutting edge science works alongside manufacturing know-how and that is a powerful combination."

 

 

"The UK employment dynamo continues to generate jobs and grow wages," said Anthea McIntyre MEP.

 

The West Midlands MEP, who is Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament, was greeting independent jobs figures which showed the unemployment rate continuing to run at the lowest since 1974 and wages growing faster than inflation for the 15th month in a row.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-48594011

 

She said: "Average weekly earnings are up 3.4 per cent from a year ago and more women are in work than ever before. Youth unemployment has halved since 2010 nearly a million more disabled people are in work since 2014. 

 

"However desperately some may try to find negatives, the truth is this Government has created a jobs revolution whose benefits are reaching all corners of society. it means more people experiencing the dignity of work and more money in their pockets."

 

 

 

The work of a regional anti hate-crime campaign launched by MEPs must not be lost when Britain leaves the European Union, a prominent multi-faith gathering heard.

 

West Midlands Together had quickly established a track record for championing an open and tolerant society and promoting harmony and understanding, said founder Anthea McIntyre MEP.

 

Miss McIntyre, Conservative MEP for the West Midlands, told the interfaith service at the Al-Mahdi Institute, Weoly Park Road, Birmingham, that the region had a proud record of welcoming people from across the world.

 

They had settled here and contributed greatly to our society, she said: "But in the aftermath of the EU referendum we saw a substantial increase in reported hate crime. And this exposed an undercurrent of xenophobia and racism in parts of our society, which I felt had to be tackled."

 

Miss McIntyre told how she invited Labour MEP colleague Neena Gill in November 2016 to co-chair West Midlands Together, with senior Liberal Democrats also joining the steering committee in a fully cross-party initiative.

 

It brought together representatives of the mainstream political parties, BAME communities, Police and Crime Commissioners, local government, universities, and the West Midlands Mayor.   

 

She said: "We are here to advance an open, tolerant and inclusive society...and to propose practical solutions to better ensure lasting harmony between people, irrespective of their geographic background or cultural tradition."

 

The interfaith service was titled "Creating a City of Peace Together" and commemorated the victims of recent attacks on religious services in New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

 

Miss McIntyre counted a series of conferences and awareness-raising events among the campaign's achievements and said:  "Our youth conference in Birmingham was a particular success. Sixth forms and colleges across the region were invited to take part and produced artwork, poetry, songs, posters and videos. Very inspiring presentations resulted and we hope to hold another conference this year.

 

"The challenge now is to keep this initiative going after Brexit when we no longer have MEPs and their offices to provide administrative support."

 

She said it was vital that political parties should continue to unite against all hate crime to bring the West Midlands Together, and she stressed:  "I am determined we will keep it going for as long as there is a need."