Man, 77, robbed in his home

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY HAMISH MOR­RI­SON

AN el­derly man has been left shaken after he was as­saulted in his own home dur­ing a rob­bery just days after Christ­mas.

The 77-year-old was within his home in Wing­field Gar­dens when he an­swered the door to two men who as­saulted him.

The pair made off with a sum of money and some per­sonal items.

Po­lice have la­belled the at­tack “de­spi­ca­ble”, and urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion to come for­ward.

The sus­pects, both aged around 35, were wear­ing track­suits.

THIS Christ­mas, a group of refugee kids got to ex­pe­ri­ence the fun of the fair for the first time, cour­tesy of lo­cal com­mu­nity group Glas­gow Afghan United.

A group of 90 women and children led by Glas­gow Afghan United vis­ited the Irn-Bru Car­ni­val at the SEC on December 22 to take in the rides, food stalls and flash­ing lights of the fair.

The children, many of whom are orig­i­nally from Afghanista­n, at­tended the fair with Glas­gow Afghan United, a com­mu­nity project which aims to pro­mote the cul­tural in­te­gra­tion of im­mi­grants and refugees from a va­ri­ety of coun­tries, in­clud­ing Iran, Zam­bia and So­ma­lia.

The children were de­lighted by their trip to Europe’s largest in­door fun fair and it was a first for most of them. The or­gan­is­ers said the vast ma­jor­ity of the kids had never even heard of the car­ni­val be­fore.

The visit was or­gan­ised as part of the group’s ed­u­ca­tional classes, which ex­pose the group’s mem­bers to clas­sic Scot­tish ac­tiv­i­ties and lo­ca­tions, such as the Irn-Bru Car­ni­val.

The or­gan­is­ers say these classes boost the con­fi­dence of mem­bers, many of whom strug­gle with trav­el­ling in­de­pen­dently.

One of the women who at­tended the trip to the car­ni­val at the SEC said: “What a great out­ing for the children! It was as if their best wishes had come true.”

An­other com­mented: “It was in­deed a great and en­joy­able day not just for the children but for the ladies.

“It was good to see ev­ery­one hav­ing fun with friends and fam­i­lies and es­pe­cially for the group of girls that went on the Viva Mex­ico, a great ex­pe­ri­ence.”

The group’s founder, Ab­dul Bostani, spoke to the Glas­gow Times about the im­por­tance trips like this have in en­cour­ag­ing the in­te­gra­tion of refugee and mi­grant women into the city’s so­cial and cul­tural life.

What is usu­ally a sta­ple of a typ­i­cal Glaswe­gian kid’s

Christ­mas can be a real lux­ury for those re­cently ar­rived in the coun­try, Bostani ex­plained.

Glas­gow Afghan United paid for the visit, which al­lowed fam­i­lies who would oth­er­wise need to watch their wal­lets care­fully to fully en­joy the trip.

He said many of the women, some of whom had only been in Glas­gow for a mat­ter of weeks, were “re­luc­tant to leave the house and when they did it was only with their hus­bands or for shop­ping”.

Bostani said that some of the women sup­ported by the group strug­gled se­verely with lone­li­ness and iso­la­tion: “Some of the things we have seen are shock­ing, peo­ple phon­ing am­bu­lances be­cause they were lonely, they were so de­pressed. Some couldn’t travel alone, but now can get from one side of the city to the other.

“We have taken women on trips to Stir­ling to see the cas­tle and to Ed­in­burgh. We want to show them the cul­ture and his­tory of Scot­land.”

Bostani said he wants women “to know they have rights and to be able to ex­er­cise their rights.”

The younger kids en­joyed the soft play area and the bouncy cas­tle, while the older children and their moth­ers went on the rides.

Bostani was struck by the women’s enthusiasm for the fair, and said they were as keen to go on the rides and en­joy them­selves as their children.

Glas­gow Afghan United was founded in 2004 by Bostani as a com­mu­nity ama­teur foot­ball club with the aim of in­te­grat­ing refugees and re­cent im­mi­grants to the cul­tural life of the city.

It has since ex­panded to in­clude ed­u­ca­tional classes, English lan­guage ed­u­ca­tion, em­ploy­a­bil­ity and skills work­shops and train­ing for work­ing with children and young peo­ple.

The trip was or­gan­ised by Nagineh Azar, the project co-or­di­na­tor of the women’s em­pow­er­ment group, which aims to give mi­grant women liv­ing in Glas­gow the skills and con­fi­dence to travel in­de­pen­dently, as well as the free­dom to leave home and en­joy nor­mal day-to-day ac­tiv­i­ties.

She has worked part time for the project since 2018 and stud­ies engi­neer­ing at Glas­gow Cale­do­nian Uni­ver­sity.

Bostani hopes the project will em­power and em­bolden the women in­volved to be­come more con­fi­dent and more ac­tive in their com­mu­ni­ties.

In a pro­mo­tional video for the group, Azar de­scribes how it has “ex­panded enor­mously” to in­clude 60-70 women since be­ing

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