Meet the Team 

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Barbara's worked at Notts Refugee Forum for 6 years and has been involved with Voices in Refuge from the beginning. She spent two years living in Qinhuangdao in China - a small town of a million people - before she brought her enthusiasm to Nottingham! She loves all things Kinder chocolate and is also an opera singer. 

Barbara Spreiz

Trainer & Interpreter

Slovenian, Mandarin 

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"I love interpreting. I could do it all day long!"


Nawzad began by interpreting for friends and became obsessed with the English language. He is constantly learning new idioms and often can be found with a note book of new phrases. His most recent discovery is "don't hold your breath". Originally from Kurdistan, he's recently engaged!




Kurdish (Sorani, Bahdini), Farsi

Fawad Mousawi


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Dari, Farsi

Gita Salimi


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Gita is originally from Iran and came to the UK to study a PhD in Sociology on the topic of Iranian Migrant Women. She runs a book club for Iranian women and loves novels. She takes a walk every day with one of her two sons and loves playing table tennis. 


Thomas Tilahun


Thomas has been interpreting for over 2 years. He lives with his wife and two children. He loves anything with meat in, enjoys driving and action movies. In order to learn English he thinks you just have to "try, try, try!"

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Tigrinya, Oromo, Amharic

Mai Ahmed


"Voices in Refuge is my second home. We are a family."

Mai loves to chat and is a trained TEFL teacher but believes that learning is a lifelong process. She loves her job as an interpreter and it's given her back her confidence. Having studied fashion design, she enjoys bringing art into her life through clothes and interior design. 

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Mahmoud Noor


Arabic, Zaghawa, French

Mahmood works as an administrator, but he is a talented linguist. His native tongue is Zaghawa, a Sudanese tribal language, but he also speaks Arabic and French. He is keen to learn another language to add to the collection. He enjoys reading, especially anything history related. 

Kadria Fahmy


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"It is very important to be accurate and honest when interpreting. People's lives are dependent on it."


Before living in the UK, Kadria worked as a lecturer in Egypt specialising in highway traffic engineering, where she met her husband. Her daughter is now her priority and she loves spending quality time with her family.

Arabic, French

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Iqra Mehdi



Iqra studied digital design media at university and loves all things design! Like all good designers, she has a favourite font -
Bebas Neue.
Iqra loves spending time with her family and friends, whether its a relaxing day at home or a day out.

Fairouz Shermado


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Fairouz is our scientist! As a qualified medic, she came to the UK from Libya to study a PhD in Molecular Biology. She also loves to cook - her favourite food is Mbattan - a Libyan dish of meat stuffed potatoes. She likes to play tennis but spends lots of her time looking after her four children. 



Fawad's Story 

This is the story of Fawad Mousawi, an interpreter at Voices in Refuge. He talks  about life growing up as a refugee in Iran, his year long journey to the UK and what it feels like to live in a country where he can finally feel free.

Produced by LeftLion