RadioReverb to broadcast unique refugee stories

Brighton’s local community radio station, RadioReverb is to broadcast a new series about Brighton’s refugee community. JAIBLI SALAAM, an Arabic welcome salutation, is presented and produced by Gilly Smith and explores ideas of home, identity, food and music from Brighton’s migrant communities.

The first episode will be broadcast on Christmas Day, and kicks the series off with the story of The School Bus Project, an example of the extraordinary outpouring of generosity from the city towards the refugees. Kate McAllister, founder of the project takes us aboard her yellow double decker bus, the result of a successful crowdfunding initiative, which she is converting into a pop up classroom to take to the Jungle camp in Calais.

Jaibli Salaam on RadioReverb - Steve interviews Jasmine
Jaibli Salaam on RadioReverb – Steve interviews Jasmine

Presenter, Gilly Smith is creative producer at hexology, a Brighton-based new media company which sponsors the series, as well as a radio lecturer at the University of Brighton. She invited her students to record children from St Lukes’ Primary School reading popular children’s stories for the first episode. The recordings were then embedded by hexology into the barcodes of the books which will be transported to the Jungle camp in Calais at the end of January.

Jaibli Salaam on RadioReverb - St Lukes kids reading stories
Jaibli Salaam on RadioReverb – St Lukes kids reading stories

The following episodes take us into the homes of Brighton’s Syrian community. “I wanted to show the faces behind the word ‘refugee’”, said Smith. “And there’s nowhere better to paint a picture than radio. The welcome I’ve had from the Syrian community here in Brighton has been overwhelming. All we do in each episode is cook and chat about food, music and memories from the old country, but the stories say so much more about the humanity and warmth of the Syrian people.”

Emergency Lab Technology Officer at UNHCR Innovation, John Warnes, who is working with hexology on other applications of the technology in transit camps said: “Real tales of what life is like in destination countries is really valuable for the refugees.”

The series is supported by the Digital Catapult Centre Brighton which is a partnership between Brighton’s digital community, Wired Sussex and The University of Brighton

To hear JAIBLI SALAAM, tune into RadioReverb 97.2 FM on Christmas Day between 5pm – 6pm, repeated again 10pm – 11pm and on Boxing Day between 9am – 10am with the remaining 5 shows scheduled across January 2016.

You can also hear RadioReverb on DAB or by logging on to