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Whatever people say I am: The Refugee?

That's what I'm not!

What is coming

‘What is Coming’ is the story of one Syrian man’s determination to build a future for himself and his family after he is unable to return home due to the devastating effects of the Syrian Civil War (March 2011 -). But he is not alone. There are other Syrians who need his support. And so he becomes the focal point of a new and emerging community of refugees in Nottingham hoping to rebuild their lives.

This is a story of resilience, hope and love and is based on the experience of Syrians from multiple sources: interviews with 10 Syrian refugees who came to Nottingham as part of the Syrian Vulnerable Person’s Resettlement Scheme; issues raised in focus groups from the New and Emerging Communities project; and in terms of the narrator, Maamon, two years of interviews.

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Meet the team

Writer: James Walker

Having worked at an International College for the past decade, James is passionate about understanding the challenges faced by diverse ethnic communities and finding ways of bringing people together. As a writer, he believes firmly in the power of stories to ‘build a better world with words’. This story took two years to write and lots of cups of coffee, due to the traumatic memories it evoked for Maamon.



Story: Maamon K

Maamon wishes to remain anonymous as he is fearful of possible consequences for family and friends for sharing his story. Since the interviews (2016 – 18) Maamon’s father has passed away. Fortunately, it was from natural causes. Maamon was unable to attend the funeral due to Visa restrictions. He is currently working in a Middle Eastern University on a three year contract. This will give him enough for a deposit on a house when he returns to Nottingham. PBTA!


Artist: Ella Joyce

Ella is a painter and illustrator from the East Midlands. Growing up she loved comics but thought it was a bit of a shame they were rarely drawn by girls. She was recipient of the Leicestershire Young Artist of the Year award in 2015 and illustrated chapter 14, ‘Shelves’, which explored the life of Nottingham writer Stanley Middleton, for Dawn of the Unread. Ella went on to study Fine Art at the University of Oxford, and now lives and works in Leicester.


Production: Paul Fillingham

Paul has collaborated with James on various digital storytelling projects. Originally trained in the Bauhaus tradition of multi-disciplinary art practice, his projects sit at the intersection of art, technology and design thinking. In recent years he has engaged communities, student groups and government agencies to address issues around digital inequality and accessibility.