“Shouting without a listener” is how Ethiopian laborer-turned-writer Rahel Zegeye characterized the experience of migrant workers in Lebanon, where Human Rights Watch estimated that one migrant dies every week. Zegeye’s play of the same title was put on this January by the Migrant Workers Task Force, which is now helping to turn the play into a film.

MWTF works to protect migrant laborers and develop their professional skills through community building, education, and healthcare. Annual events include a Labor Day fair featuring food, music, and crafts from migrants’ home countries.

The all-volunteer force also offers free weekly computer classes, language instruction (in Arabic, English, and French), and periodic health and safety education sessions. To support migrants’ further integration into Lebanese society, it also celebrates the skills migrants have brought with them, advertising them as chefs who can teach how to cook delicious Ethiopian, Sri Lankan, Filipina, and other varieties of dishes.

For more info – http://mwtaskforce.wordpress.com/

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Jennifer MacKenzie

Poet, writer and teacher Jennifer MacKenzie grew up on Bloomcrest Dr. in Bloomfield Hills, MI, which inspired her to wonder about places with patterns other than floral. Following her education at Wesleyan University's College of Letters and the University of Iowa's Writers Workshop, she followed a zig-zag course that included a pilgrimage across the top of Spain and a long sojourn in Syria in pursuit of the language of Muhammad al-Maghout and Moudthaffar al-Nawwab. While in Damascus she completed the books of poems "Distant City" and "My Not-My Soldier" (forthcoming from Fence Books) and edited the magazine Syria Today. Her poems and essays can be found in numerous journals including the Kenyon Review online, Guernica, Quarterly West, and Lungfull. She currently lives in New York.

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