Two refugees, two inspiring stories and much more

Aminata Conteh with Mia after their interview. Her story will move you.

Tonight we meet two people with two inspiring stories. Both are refugees. Aminata Conteh came to Australia after she was kidnapped in her Sierra Leone village and held hostage for months. It wasn’t safe for her and she was rescued, luckily, by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees after spending time in a refugee camp.

She arrived in Australia with only her sister and started her life from scratch.

And then there is Abdul Karim Hakmet, the man who fled Afghanistan when the brutal Taliban began exerting more control in his village in 2000. They whipped women for showing ankle flesh and closed schools. He fled through Pakistan but there was no help to be had. He moved on to Indonesia and found passage on a hopelessly overcrowded boat before being intercepted by Australian patrols and taken to Curtin detention centre.

Their stories will at once break the heart and then mend it again. And it’ll throw the refugee debate in a whole new light.

Here’s the full show:

Let’s meet the panel:

Sam de Brito, Sarah MacDonald, Simon Thomsen and Jane Caro

Sam de Brito: Author of Hello Darkness and The Lost Boys and columnist with Fairfax, he’s the man we love having back. And tonight he brings an interview with former Scary Spice Mel B about motherhood … and those Jenny Craig ads.

Jane Caro: Jane is a staple in the advertising industry and has been a copywriter for 30 years. She’s passionate about public education and talks tonight about an alarming gap in schools. She is the author of Just a Girl.

Sarah MacDonald: Sarah is the author of Holy Cow, broadcaster with ABC radio and all ’round ace woman. She’s funny, friendly and chatting about THAT story of the woman brought to court for leaving her child home alone.

Simon Thomsen: The food critic with plenty to say joins us again this evening. Simon’s tastes extend beyond his job as critic for the Daily Telegraph and will tonight be talking about the dance of intrigue between media and politicians.

And we’re joined by special guest Simon Sheikh, the National Director of GetUp to talk about the politics of the refugee debate.