Muslim women share their thoughts on the hijab with poet Kate Fox




Lyrical Limelight Flyers at the Students Union building


kate fox

Kate Fox, Comedian and Poet

Comedian and poet Kate Fox  has hosted a talk on the hijab at Teesside University.

The evening, which took place at at The Hub Students’ Union building, saw local women from the North East share their experience of wearing the controversial head scarf.

Tabinda Hussain, a writer and editor, was a co-host at this event. She explained: “To me wearing hijab has been an experience of empowerment.”

The debate centred on whether wearing the hijab brought on feelings of oppression or freedom in Muslim women.

Tabinda further added that: “When I wear the hijab I feel protected and to me it acts as an identity.”

Noreen, an undergraduate student at Teesside university, said: “This is  a really great event. I have been excited by the inspiring stories told by Muslim ladies here.”

Ikra, who is a student at Macmillan Academy, explained: “Such an event is not just for Muslim ladies, I encourage every lady to take part in such talks when they take place.”

It was an evening of emotional and inspiring stories. Experiences differed between individuals who told their stories. Others claimed hijab wearing was a symbol  of their beliefs. Others said that it was bringing too much attention to them – especially here in the UK  where most of people are Westernised.

Qurat-Al-Un outside the Hub before the evening Event



Qurat-Al-Un stated that: “This has not been a simple thing for me here, most of the times people stare at me and sometimes they even make funny jokes of my Islamic dressing style. I feel oppressed.”

The event was sponsored by IDC North East and it was strictly for women aged eight years and above. However boys under 11 years were allowed too.

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North East braves the rain to celebrate Chinese Year of the Sheep

SPRING Festival – otherwise known as Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year – is the grandest and the most important festival for Chinese people. It is also the time for the whole family to get together. This is similar to Christmas Day for Westerners.

In order to feel the atmosphere of the Chinese New Year in the UK, I went to Newcastle, Hartlepool and Sunderland.

Spring Festival is not one day but a period for 15 days. This year it ran from 19 February to 5 March.



Hundreds of people celebrate Chinese New Year

On 22 February hundreds of people, not only Chinese but also many people from other countries, celebrated Chinese New Year in China Town in Newcastle. Although it was raining, people were full of passion. Displays welcoming the Year of the Sheep included martial arts demonstrations, a lion dance and Chinese traditional food.

Dragon handiwork

Dragon handiwork

On 1 March the local Chinese association held the event and invited about 100 Chinese and Britons to enjoy dancing performance, food and celebrate Chinese New Year.  That evening a gala performance was hosted in Sunderland.

Hartlepool Chinese Association

Hartlepool Chinese Association

the performance in Sunderland

the performance in Sunderland


Please click on the video below to see more:

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Middlesbrough homeless want their voice to matter in upcoming election


GIZMO- Carl Stephenson won’t be voting

THE homeless people of Middlesbrough are hoping their voice will be heard in the upcoming general election.

The 7 May vote could prove to be one of the tightest in recent memory if the polls are anything to go by.

And whether you are voting Conservative, Labour or any of the other major parties, you can feel confident your vote will matter and be taken into account.

But there is a contingent of people who feel this is not the case for them. Those are the homeless who have fallen on the hardest of times during the recent financial crisis.

Cheeko, a spokesman for Second Chances, a magazine designed to help homeless people get back on their feet, said he would definitely be taking part.

He said: “I will be voting, yes, for Labour because they have been noticing in places like Middlesbrough and Redcar, the help homeless people need and Labour seem to realise where the money needs to be spent.”

Cheeko was also keen to talk about homeless people keeping their humanity and place in society.

“The parties and politicians need to remember we are human beings too. We can’t focus on just the people from the Boro, we have to look at the bigger picture. There are people from London, Bristol and all over who need help.”

The homeless people of Middlesbrough are keen for changes to made, and some are not interested in who it is that makes these changes.

Busker Carl ‘Gizmo’ Stephenson said: “I won’t be voting, I don’t actually know enough about politics to make a decision- I would like to see changes, I don’t feel my vote will count for a lot though that’s why I won’t be voting.”

It is clear that whether the homeless people of Middlesbrough are going to vote are not, they are passionate and very keen to see change in not just their own lives but in Britain itself.


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£100 raised by MA students for local schools


Runners at the Albert park during the Fun-Run Event

About £100 was raised at Albert Park by a group of MA students from Teesside University to help local schools.

The group, also known as Fantastic Four among their peers, have been running for the Blithe campaign in partnership with the Albert park runners and local Middlesbrough Philanthropic Foundation since earlier this year with the aim of supporting local schools and children in the town.

On Saturday after the running session was completed at the Albert Park people were invited to join the Fantastic Four in their fundraising where they were selling home made cakes for 50p.


Becky, one of the Fantastic Four selling cakes to the Fun-Runners

Daniel Vinzens, one of the fundraisers said: “This was a very successful day, we charged three pounds for entrance fees and also sold the cakes this morning. We have raised about £100 which is great.”

It was a nice morning with quite fine weather and people seemed to have enjoyed themselves  very much.

Daniel added: “All the money will be given to the children in need in Middlesbrough.”

The fun-run event  and Blithe campaign was not all about fundraising but also showing that fun can be turned into fundraising for a good cause too. People were encouraged to go fo the run, and stay for the fun which turned into fundraising for a good cause which is even more fun!

Amy Steele, one of the runners, said: “I enjoyed this day very much, and knowing that I am donating while running and having fun feels great.”

The event ended around 12:30 and the Fantastic Four went home similing and feeling very pleased.




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People enjoy run and fun at Albert Park for charity.

Nearly one hundred people attended  a charity Run and Fun event in  Albert Park.

Some people took part in the run while others lent their support..

The Blithe Campaign,  founded by Multimedia PR students at Teesside University, aims to help the schools and the children in Middlesbrough.

“Let us put the fun into funding” is their slogan.

Daniel Vinzens with participators

Daniel Vinzens with participators

Daniel Vinzens, a representative of the Blithe Campaign, said: “We are working together with the local Middlesbrough and Teesside Philanthropic Foundation and are supporting their hardship fund for local schools to support children in need.”

There were two different runs: Fund-Run 5km and Fun-Run 3km. The participation fee is £3 for adults and £1 for children aged under 12. If people do not like running, they will buy some cakes for charity. All the money will be used to help the schools and the children in Middlesbrough and Teesside.

Many people actively engaged with them as volunteers.

Mikel is one of these volunteers helping to sell charity cakes.

He said:” This is a very meaningful event. People are very helpful. I even found some people bought a cake for more than 50p price. They donate more money for the charity.”

In the end of the event, Daniel Vinzens told me:” We raised about £100 which is awesome.”

To get more information, please click on the audio below:

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Inter-Racial Relationships On The Increase In The UK.


Raymond has been married for 10 years


DR Pastor Ken Duru has been married for over 20 years









The United Kingdom is fast experiencing a surge in the number of marriages and relationships across ethnic divides – according to latest official figures.

Mixed race is an ethnic category that has been used by the United Kingdom’s office for National statistics since 1991 census which colloquially refers to British citizens or residents who are married to people of different ethnic background or people whose  parents are of different race.

New analysis of the census figures shows that the number of people in England and Wales living with or married to someone from another ethnic group has jumped to 2.3 million with an increase of about 35 percent in the last 10 years.

According to a report in The Independent newspaper, one in 10 relationships in UK now cross racial boundaries thereby making the country one of the fastest growing mixed race societies in the world.

The expansion of the EU in 2004 has also contributed to this development. Reports say that the common inter-ethnic relationships today is between people who are white British and a country like Poland. These make up 16 percent of the entire mixed race population.

The prejudice are fading gradually even in major cities like London, Manchester and Birmingham, recording the highest population of mixed race couples. It is common place in such cities that inter-racial couples will no longer catch your eyes as different.

Perceptions and prejudice continues to fizzle even in some parts of Africa. Under the apartheid regime in South Africa, inter- racial marriages and relationships were banned but today it has become a normal practice in the society.

Celebrities such as Jessica Ennis the Olympic star, Lewis Hamilton and Leona Lewis, the British got talent Alesha Dixon are all changing the perceptions on mixed race marriages and relationships in UK.

However, there are things to worry about when getting involved in inter-ethnic marriages or relationships.

In an interview with Benjamin Eamo, a Doctoral student in Sociology, he pointed out “that mixed race relationship is something one has to really think about before going into because of the cultural divide”.

Mr Eamo said: “It demands more effort because people involved will be struggling to adjust or live up to the culture and orientation of his spouse which sometimes creates a kind of cultural friction leading to issues in such marriages and relationships”.

However, Raymond Oliver,  who has been married to his wife from Africa for up to 15 years,  has a different view.

He said: “There is no difference if you marry from any part of the world that the most important thing is compatibility of the couple”.

A marriage councillor Dr Ken Duru notes that the success or failure of relationships is not determined by ethnic, social or other factors, rather it is determined by the individuals in the relationship.

Their ability to tolerate each others excesses because owing to the fact that no one is perfect is what that will determine the Fate of their relationship.

Click on the video below to find out more.

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Middlesbrough running group Albert Parkrun join the race for health

A GROUP of fun runners has joined the race for a healthier lifestyle.

Albert Parkrun is a group which is free for people  to join who want to keep themselves fit.

The group meets every Saturday at 9 am and then does a 5k run, jog or walk in Middlesbrough’s Albert Park.

Runners are welcome from all ages and whoever are able to finish the task are then invited to get involving with the weekly challenge.

It all begun six years ago with initially only 25 runners.

The group now welcomes 250 to 300 people every week. The runners can run at their own pace .






Some of the runners go through their paces.

Tside reporter Qian Bai went along to the event.

Click on the video below for more information.

Qian Bai reports.

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Film Review: Fast & Furious 7

Film Review: Fast & Furious 7

Movie Title: Fast & Furiousn

Director: James Wan

Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Paul Walkerff7

Release date: 06/04/2014

Tside rating:  5 stars

“The most important thing in life, always be the people right here, right now. That’s was real.”

Last week, I went to the cinema to enjoy the movie that called Fast & Furious 7. I’m a big fan of this movies. I have watched the previous films which made me excited, shocked and unforgettable. This latest movie was continued the previous story of the play, meanwhile Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Dwayne Johnson still lead the cast of Furious 7.

With beginning of the film, a series arsons, threaten events was implemented by Ian Shaw in London, because he wanted to revenge for his brother who died in an accident. The whole movie showed the Dominic’s team including Dominic, Brian, Letty and other team numbers fighting with Ian to protect the safety of the city.

I went into this movie with high expectations and I did enjoy it, the premise was really splendid and another reason for me to watch this movie is Paul Walker who played one of the protagonist in it. However, unfortunately Paul Walker died in real world with a traffic accident which was a high-speed road crash in November, 2013. The Fast & Furious 7 was finished after Paul died, and this movie is to memory Paul. The film was completed with helps from Paul’s two younger brothers Caleb and Cody, and also with some technologies of subtle, unobtrusive computer graphics. Combining with the brilliant film cuts and excellent dub, the audience are deeply attracted by such an excellent film, and they perhaps forget the truth of Paul walker’ death.

At the end of film, Wiz Khalifa’s sang the song named ‘See You Again’ which is written for Walker. At the same time, the screen emerged Brain with his family enjoyed their happy hours on the sand beach. Dominic dried his car on the motorway, then Brain caught up with him and smiled. After that, they went to different directions for a new journey, it always seemed to say good bye to Paul Walker.

Reviewed the previous films, each one had a happy ending. Sometimes I felt no innovative things that appeared about the previous 6 movies, but when I listened the song at this time and I thought it may be the last time for me to enjoy the Fast and Furious, suddenly I was moved by the song and the film. If someone ask me did the ending makes you cry? My answer will be: “Yes, I did.” For Paul Walker, we never say goodbye.


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Tside battles it out at the Jorvik Viking Festival

The annual Jorvik Viking Festival is a city-wide celebration of York’s Viking heritage that attracts over 40,000 visitors to the city each year.

York changed when it was captured by the Vikings and the city became known as Jorvik.

The festival’s programme of family-friendly events, battle re-enactments attracts an international audience, with many returning year after year to take part and enjoy the atmosphere.


The Vikings get ready for battle at the Jorvik Festival.





Tside reporter Qian Bai went along to sample the festival’s fun.

Click on the video below for more information.

Qian Bai reports.



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Radio Ignition Offers Work Opportunities to Teesside Students.

A Radio station is offering work experience to Teesside University students.

Tony Beards, who is the chairman of Teesside Community Media(TCM),  has announced both paid and volunteer job opportunities at the new Media station,Ignition radio, which was launched in March this year at the Hope House Whessoe Road, Hardwick.

Tony Beards broadcasting on Ignition radio station

Teesside Community Media is a charity aiming at providing the people of Teesside with a number of radio stations broadcasting something for everyone.

It is focused on engaging the local community by promoting public education in media and training workshops for schools, colleges and universities offering opportunity for valuable work experience.

As he was explaining about the core aims of the charity, Mr Beards said: “We aim at giving back to the community by offering free experience to the young professionals as well as giving opportunity for anyone who has a say to be heard out. ”

Marcus Summerfield, who is the station manager for  Ignition Radio, further explained:

Marcus Summerfield in his office at Hardwick

“A huge diversity is what Ignition Radio aims at, you can listen to the 50’s, the 60’s Punjab beats, Afro-beats and all other music genres. ”

Mick Pearce is one of the trustees for TCM and he said that more volunteers for News Team, Technical support, Fundraising, Community Engagement, Presenting, Sales as well as Advertisement are still needed.

Mick said: “We are more like a family here. Once you join us, you will eventually feel that, while learning, exploring and developing your CV.”

Teesside Community Media was launched on October 20  2014, it is a registered charity with online radio stations such as Radio Stitch and Ignition Radio.

In early March 2015, Ignition radio was officially launched and more young people are encouraged to take part in both volunteer and paid work at the station.

Click below to find out more about the radio station and opportunities available:

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