A POET, forced to leave her home in war-ravaged Syria to find safety in Oxfordshire, is among the stars of a gala fundraising night at an Oxford theatre.

Muradi Bakir, who lives in north Oxfordshire, is among the performers at a fundraisers for Oxford refugee charity Asylum Welcome at the North Wall arts centre in Summertown tonight.

The show, which will be hosted by BBC Arts Editor Will Gompertz, will also feature award-winning Scottish fiddler Ryan Young and comedian and writer Kieran Hodgson – who has appeared in TV shows Two Doors Down, Upstart Crow and Jonathan Creek.

Mr Gompertz, who lives in North Oxford, is an art historian, a former director of Tate Media and a supporter of Asylum Welcome’s work with refugees and asylum seekers.

He said: “If someone I loved was seeking refuge in a foreign land, I’d hope and pray its people were kind and compassionate. You would, wouldn’t you?”

Mrs Bakir, who previously lived in Witney, has previously performed at Oxford University, at Witney’s Asylum Sounds event and at the Ashmolean Museum’s One World Festival. She will be sharing her own hard-hitting work on the subject of displacement, home and what it means to be a refugee.

Witney Gazette:

Mr Young is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a Celtic Connections Award winner and two time finalist of BBC young musician of the year. He will be accompanied by guitarist Chris Amer.

Mr Hodgson will perform his Edinburgh Comedy Award-nominated show, Maestro, which chart’s his efforts to write his own symphony and follow in the footsteps of his idol, Gustav Mahler.

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Asylum Welcome deals with more than 1,000 refugees and asylum seekers plus their families each year. They come from more than 40 different countries, with he largest single number coming from Syria.

The charity’s director Kate Smart said: “Asylum Welcome is truly a community endeavour.

“We are very excited about this gala. It is a rare opportunity for us to build connections with arts-lovers and we hope it will help to sustain much-needed, practical services for refugees in Oxford.”

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Ria Parry, co-Director of The North Wall, said: “We are delighted to be supporting Asylum Welcome’s Gala. We’re looking forward to an evening filled with wonderful performances in celebration of a truly fantastic organisation.”

Witney Gazette:

The event begins at 7pm with a drinks reception and authentic Syrian canapés.

All proceeds from ticket sales and money raised on the night will support Asylum Welcome’s work.

For tickets and information got to thenorthwall.com