A SHARED love of music, dance and food brought refugees and the local community together for a lively cultural celebration event in Greenock.

The smell of freshly brewed Arabic coffee filled the air of the Your Voice community care forum office in Clyde Square as refugees pulled out the stops to welcome people to their Syrian, Afghan and Scottish Bazaar.

Organised by the refugees with support from Your Voice and Inverclyde Council, the party featured mouthwatering Middle Eastern cuisine, traditional music and dance as well as art and clothes.

Ahad Mohamad and her husband Mohamad Amin Alshweiti, who are living in Port Glasgow after fleeing the war in Syria with their three children Omar, seven, Hamza, 12, Suleiman, 16 months, cooked several traditional Syrian dishes especially for the party.

Ahad said: "I'm happy as the people have been so friendly in Port Glasgow.

"It's lovely to meet with Scottish people and show them Syrian food and culture."

Nada Zainalabdeen, who is the refugee integration officer at Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership, says the event was a great way to bring the community together.

She said: "It's a great way for the community in Inverclyde to meet and integrate with the new Syrian community.

"Also this is a good start for them if they want to start their own businesses in the future, as most of them are very good cooks."

Patricia Cameron from Greenock came along to support the event.

She said: "I saw an article in the Tele about it so I thought I would come along.

"It was a great atmosphere and the food was lovely, I tried some falafel.

"This event is a good idea."

Sandra Wallace, who is also from Greenock, also enjoyed the afternoon.

She said: "It was marvellous.

"It was my first time and the people were so nice.

"I bought some knitted items."

Independent councillor Drew McKenzie and SNP councillor Jim MacLeod also enjoyed soaking up the atmosphere.

Mr McKenzie said: "It was a lovely afternoon.

"The refugees are really integrating well into the community.

"They are adding life to our community and bringing colour to it.

"It's lovely to see."

Mr MacLeod said: "The food was fantastic.

"I think this was a great opportunity as perhaps this will help them to get their own businesses up and running in the future."

Stephen Harrison, communications and engagement officer at Your Voice, added: "We have had a great relationship with all the refugees over the years.

"It's good that they get so involved in this event."