Staff, learners and special guests of all cultures came together to celebrate Newroz (the Kurdish New Year) at CONEL.

The celebration, held in the College’s exam hall on Tuesday 24 March and featuring live music and dancing, was a tremendous success. Approximately 1000 guests were in attendance throughout the day.

The event was opened by Yildiz Ozcelik, who is currently studying Public Services at CONEL and is a member of the CONEL-based group BRACE (Building Relationships Amongst Cultures Everywhere). Another group of four CONEL learners also performed at the event, singing & playing the Saz, a traditional stringed instrument. Learners and other guests from the audience were soon encouraged to join in the dancing, and the packed exam hall soon had a carnival atmosphere. The day was a great success in giving non-Kurdish learners a taste of a different culture – quite literally in the case of the traditional Kurdish food that was available to all.

Guests who visited the College to attend the event included CONEL Governors Shefik Mehmet and Fred Eillis, Abi Osman of the Metropolitan Police and Community Engagement Worker Elif Dogan.

Karlene Sutherland of the CONEL Learner Enrichment Team said of the event: “The celebration of Newroz has always been and will continue to be a success at CONEL. The College Enrichment Team, together with the student-led BRACE group will be supporting many more cultural events in the near future.”

The Newroz event was generously funded by Sean Sweeney and his team at Haringey Safer Communities.

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