HOUSING AFGHANISTAN REFUGEES – EPISODE 3

HOUSING AFGHANISTAN REFUGEES - EPISODE 3

Written by Graham Perry

Graham Perry M.A. Cantab FCIArb Experienced Arbitration Lawyer | China & Chinese Business Affairs | Public Speaker/Lecturer

14 September 2021

MEDIATION #178

THE MEDIATOR HAS TWO MEETINGS

Our mediator, Mrs Harmison, has spoken with a number of local interests. She is beginning to understand both sides of the argument – those that want to house the Afghan immigrants in the City Centre Hotel and those who do not want any refugees in the City.
 
A couple of people have suggested she meets with The Local Businessman (TLB) – a free spirit who has defied convention to become the wealthiest man in the City. A rough diamond with a colourful turn of phrase + bags of confidence, his DNA is the City where he was born 76 years ago. He has no time for politics, just people. He is much loved.
 
To your surprise, he is keen to get involved. Without any prejudices himself, he has sympathy for the plight of the refugees and a keen awareness of the challenge posed by the rise of the No Refugees Party. But he has no solutions – no offers of help until our Mediator, Mrs Harmison – thinking creatively – asks him about his local property holdings. Something moves – he has two large side by side houses not far from the large NHS Hospital. They are intentionally empty because he hopes to redevelop into offices but the planning process is taking a long time. A seed is planted – maybe the properties could be improved and enlarged to provide accommodation for the refugees?
 
The next meeting is with the Leaders of the Refugees – 12 three-generation families. Mrs Harmison dresses with sensitivity – nothing flamboyant or revealing. The atmosphere is awkward. The Three Leaders – all male – struggle with the Lady Mediator but things ease when it emerges that one of her three daughters is married to a Hindu estate surveyor from India. A second meeting is arranged to discuss concrete issues. It is clear that the Leaders want a low key presence with the hope of employment. You remember that the Hospital is quite short-staffed.
 
EPISODE 4 – 15 SEPTEMBER 2021
THE MEDIATOR MAKES HER MOVE

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