Behind the Face

‘Behind the Face’ is the remarkable and inspiring true life stories of 15 international people who have made Kerry their home, and Irish Rugby International Ultan Dillane was in his hometown to launch the new book.
The book makes a unique and impactful statement about the diversity of the new Kerry and helps us to go behind what we see, and look into the lives of the people we pass on the street, and challenge any possible stereotypes we may have.  
Also in attendance was author Billy Keane who wrote the foreword for the book. He says that Kerry should welcome its international community with open arms. 
Behind the Face, which was supported by Kerry County Council’s Community Support Fund and NEWKD through SICAP funds, tells the stories of people like Ahmed Lulu who came here from Palestine to escape Hamas and a life of war and terror; Eddie Ong came from Malaysia to follow his dream of cooking and learning about new foods; Galina Cotter came to Kerry for love and now has two children and runs a business with her husband, and Hashim Al Hadeedy came to escape fear and terror from Isis in his home county of Iraq. 
All these stories and more are contained in Behind the Face which is hoped will help the public understand that Kerry’s new residents all have their own reasons for coming to the county. 
Their stories are of love and loss, bravery and hope but most importantly they tell us the story ‘behind the face’ – the stories of Kerry’s newest residents. 
The book was compiled by Mary Carroll, Sinead Kelleher and Susan McElligott. 
Mary is the co-ordinator of the Tralee International Resource Centre which helps support Kerry’s new international community.
Sinead Kelleher is a journalist with Kerry’s Eye and believes that Kerry should open its arms to its new residents. “Everyone has a story to tell and we want this book to share these stories to promote integration and get rid of misconceptions,” said Sinead. 
Susan McElligott is a counsellor who works with international people on a daily basis.  She is a US citizen who now lives in Ireland. 
 She is one of 15 people who shares her story in the new book. 
 The book is available from TIRC (066 7127918) and Siamsa Tire in Tralee or Khao Restaurant on High Street in Killarney or call Sinead on 087 9303061. It costs €10 with all proceeds going to support the work TIRC do on promoting integration. More details are also available on the book’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/InternationalpeopleinKerry. 

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