Tahir Haroon (CBC)
I met Tahir Haroon three years ago when I taught an after school filmmaking program at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization of Manitoba (IRCOM). Tahir, his mother and three sisters had just arrived in Manitoba, from Somalia, via Yemen. He could barely speak English but loved performing for the camera.
Today, Tahir speaks English well and has embraced IRCOM's afterschool program. The program helps newcomer children and youth positively integrate into new environments in Canada. Not only has Tahir become a filmmaker, rapper and dancer/performer through this program, he can add author and illustrator to his repertoire. He and other program participants have written and illustrated "Give Voice, Open Your Ears", a book that was written through IRCOM's afterschool program. The book incorporates writing, visual art and music as a means for participants to express their life experiences.
Tahir says that this program has inspired him to help others. He writes about his aspirations to become a teacher in the book but I guess you'll have to come down to the launch at the Graffiti Gallery on Thursday, April 21st at 7pm to learn more. In the meantime, take a look at some of the artwork by Tahir and some of the other contributors, featured in "Give Voice, Open Your Ears!".