The Sky
I’m like the sea never ending.
You can find me day or night.
Even when there is lightning and thunder,
Not even the tears around can stand in my way.
I look my best when there is a rainbow.
What am I?
– Jude Hasham (4 Violet)

Peace
Love ,I am hope for the future
Care,I am your biggest admirer
War, I am your biggest enemy
Happiness, I am no match for hate
Help, I am the life of the world
I am the bond of the world
What am I?
– Zoe Fagestrom (4 Violet)

Refugee Letters

Friday 1st June, 2018

Dear Jessica

It’s been so long since I wrote to you. Things in Australia are great now because I am understanding more in my classes at school. I am getting better in learning how to write and speak English. I am exploding with happiness to write to you today. I can’t explain the exciting feeling I’m getting while I write to you.

Once I arrived in Australia, I was sent to a refugee camp. I felt so isolated there but one day they let me go and soon I was walking on the streets of Sydney. An organisation called The Salvation Army helped me find a good place to live. I was so grateful because other people had a heart of stone. They just ignored me when they knew I needed help.

Anyways, has the war stopped? Once it does come to Australia and visit me. I would love for you to come and see me. How is your family? Say hello to my cousin Theo. I hope to see you in Australia.

From your friend Gracie

– Grace El-Khoury -5 Opal

September 21st, 2018

Dear Leila,

Hi how are you? It’s been a thousand years since I’ve last seen you back in Lebanon. Now I’m living in Australia and it’s much safer. I feel so grateful to live in a peaceful and free country.

When my family and I arrived I was so scared. They put us in this refugee camp. It was nothing much. All they had were cabins and some food. Even though it was nothing much I was still very grateful and the cabins were so comfortable. When I first arrived I felt so foreign because I didn’t understand anyone. It was quite embarrassing.

When they let my family and I out of the refugee camp, my parents put me in this school called MCHF also known as MARONITE COLLEGE OF THE HOLY FAMILY. It was also foreign to me because I did not understand anyone. I made lots of friends and they helped me learn English.

They also gave mum and dad a job. Mum works in a factory and so does dad. Mum and dad are also getting better in speaking English. We live in a unit which is nothing fancy but also comfortable.

Now I feel so much better that I understand English. My new friends are also nice and funny just like you and I used to be.

I miss everyone back home and hope to visit you soon when the war is over. Please say hello to everyone especially may auntie, cousins, grandparents and friends. I just wanted to ask you a question. Is Mrs Ponder still teaching? If she is, please share my love to her. Love and miss you so much.

Yours sincerely,

Mary

– Marina El-Katrib- 5 Opal

Dear Grandma Mariam,

Hi, how is everyone back in Lebanon? I really miss you guys. Grandma guess what? We are living in Australia and it’s such a beautiful place here. It has been months since I last wrote to you and this is what’s happened.

On Friday November 2017, we escaped the war in Lebanon. I didn’t want to leave my comfortable home and you and Grandpa. But it was for my own good. We left on a tiny boat with 102 people on board, at midnight. We faced rocky waters and rough storms. Sadly, two people died on the boat. Some people suffered from starvation but made it to Australia. Thank God.

For six months we were living in a Refugee Camp. We had little tents to sleep in. They were comfortable and made me warm. The sight of sunrise and sunset is so beautiful in Australia. It reminds me of Grandpa and I having tea together just before sunrise. We didn’t know anybody in the Refugee Camp and I felt scared but I was safe.

We are now living with Aunty Mary until we find a home to stay in. It’s a beautiful place here. School is really hard. I really don’t know anything anyone is saying and during lunch times everyone surrounds me. It makes me feel very happy and joyful. Some students are mean because I have a different culture, but I think they are just jealous. I am getting better at speaking English every day.

Mum and Dad both have a job thanks to Aunty. Mum works in a small bakery and dad works in a Lebanese restaurant. He’s a great cook.

I hope everyone is well back home. Say hi to Grandpa. How is his health? Hope not too bad. You should come here. It is much safer and I’m worried about you all.

The environment is cleaner for Grandpa and it is beautiful here. Miss you both so much.

Love your Granddaughter,

XOXOXO

ANGELINA

– Angelina Layoun- 5 Opal

Dear Grandpa,

Hello Grandpa, how are you doing? I hope you and Grandma have been doing well since we’ve gone.  It feels like centuries have passed since I was last in Iraq making the special, secret noodles with you. I really hope the war will be ending soon.

The journey to Australia was disgusting, horrible, horrendous, dreadful, awful, ghastly, revolting and repulsive. The boat was nothing but full of filth and it was narrow and vintage. But that was nothing compared to what actually happened! It was a catastrophe! The boat was squashy like mad and there were so many refugees on the boat that I felt like I could hardly breathe! It was like there was a never ending amount of people on the boat! Everyone was starving and thirsty. I was left traumatised by all the people dying. It was a nightmare in reality!

Anyway, Australia was very eerie and peculiar at first, but I was decided to get used to it. The people were speaking nonsense and the smell of their food made me feel very sick inside. The people also all looked like they were from the circus. It made me want to burst into laughter at how ridiculous it was, but I swallowed it down my throat. They probably looked at me and saw the same thing.

I now am starting to learn English since I am in Australia. The teachers are kind but also strict. Everyone eats sandwiches, chocolate bars and chip packets. But I still stick with my usual for my lunch. I feel like I am on an isolated island, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. But when I think of you my frown turns upside down.

You are the best Grandpa anyone could ask for. I love more than all of the stars in the universe and I hope that you can come visit me one day. Please write back to me!

Love from: Your loving grandchild, Hannah

– Hannah Youssef – 5 Opal

Dear Izzy,

HI Izzy! It’s been forever since I last saw you! Australia is such a wonderful country, but it’s not the same without you! I miss you so much it’s not even funny! When you’re with me it’s like vegemite and butter but when you’re not, it’s just vegemite.

Yesterday was amazing. It was New Year’s Eve! There were fireworks everywhere I went! The only down-side about living in Australia, Melbourne is that everyone at school makes fun of what I eat. They tease and laugh and when they tease my eyes fill up like a waterfall. I have some new friends! But they’re different, they’re not you!

Anyway, Australia is a very safe and secure country. Maybe when the war is over you can come and visit me. I live in Melbourne. It felt like the trip from Israel to Melbourne by boat took a million years. How is it back in Israel? Are they aiming the bombs towards your village? Is the war even still going? I hope you’re okay. I worry about you every day! I miss you to the moon and back! I hope I can see you again because in my heart I’ve left a place just for you.

Sincerely, Grace

– Grace Raffoul – 5 Opal

Dearest Rita,

Hey, how are you? It has been ages since I last saw you in Syria. Right now I am living in Australia with my family.

When my family and I escaped Syria, we stayed in a refugee camp. As soon as I reached Australia, I felt isolated because I had no friends and did not know how to talk English.

When I was on the boat the food was not that good, but some food on the boat was delicious. People were dying and did not survive the boat trip.

My parents wanted me to start school, so now I go to the local school. It is hard for me to understand what they are saying. I made new friends that are kind and generous to me.

My parents are starting to go work. My dad is working in a Syrian restaurant. My mum is working as a cleaner at a school.

Life in Australia is safer and better. I feel like I’m starting to belong here, but I will still visit you. I miss everyone back at home. I will come and visit once the war is over. Please give my care and love to everyone.

Love and miss you all.

Love from your friend Anita

– Anita Taouk- 5 Opal

Federation, Will It Happen?
This is infuriating behaviour, when will these 6 colonies decide to Federate and make this world a better place, I’ve been waiting forever! (Federation for The Nation, The Daily Telegraph 7TH January 1896). For starters, as we can see, the sport teams are already prepared for Federation, they even have a name for this nation ‘Australia’. Why can’t we be like them and join together as one, I feel so unhappy because we are so divided. We should join as one and live in peace. We all know that if a fully forced military army fought against one of our colonies we wouldn’t stand a chance, our singular forces are small and powerless. If we don’t join together we will never make it through the world’s dangers because our forces are so small. As one we can destroy and defend our country with pride and respect. I can’t stress it enough! Federate, make our colonies one! It will be more beneficial if we join together, let’s make it happen today!

– M. El Bazouni (An infuriated reader)

THE ANNONYMOUS CRIMINAL
“OMG”, I screeched at the top of my lungs. You’re probably wondering what in the world is going on. Let me tell you before I faint in horror. I was just having the best slumber party in this whole world, then we decided to have some left over cake from the other day then out of nowhere when we heard the most deafening sirens ever! There were helicopters, thousands of them. It was crazy! We heard a knock on our door and we anxiously answered it “w-who is it?” IT WAS THE POLICE! I quickly rushed to the door and said “good morning sir is there anything I can help you with?” He told me that there was a criminal who had escaped from jail and his family lives in the next street and to call if saw any suspicious behavior. “Thank you very much sir” I whimpered in a shaken voice. As soon as the police left, I turned around and just fainted. As soon as I woke up I explained everything about what happened, and without a doubt I knew that brothers would have said something stupid and they did, one of them said that the criminal was a beast like seriously?

We went to sleep well at least we tried to, as all we could think about was the anonymous criminal knocking on our door saying ‘ hellooo is any one home if you don’t open up you will regret it and every time I thought about it a chill went up my spine. As we finally fell asleep which took a couple of hours, I dreamt that exact moment “I’m too young to die! “I shouted at the top of my lungs, but I woke everybody up “oh sorry” I whispered as they went bed ooopsie! I was breathing as deep as a whale ‘knock….knock’ we heard a voice in pain so we opened up the door “OMG” I cried t-t-the anonymous criminal was in our house! Not one of us didn’t freak out. 

We begged and begged him not to hurt us, but I think we all learnt our lesson NEVER beg a criminal in your life. He had not one bit of mercy and started shooting! “I know what to do every one calm down….RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!!!!” I roared. We all ran our hearts out but it was too late. He caught up to us but we didn’t give up we hid for our lives. We were panicking! We were freaking out! What were we going to do? I calmly looked down at my watch and took a deep breath. “LOOK YOU WEIRD CRIMINAL, I’M NOT GOING TO LET YOU HURT MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS ANY MORE. IVE HAD ENOUGH! SPY CHAIN, ACTIVATE,” I screamed.  

No one knew but I was an undercover spy. I took off his mask to reveal….my dad! What was he doing? Oh no he got away. I had to get him, my job is to protect everyone no matter who I’m facing. I ran and ran and still couldn’t get him how’s he so fast? ”Well time to activate super spy mode” I said all puffed out. ‘Wwwoooaaawww’ I was too fast, I finally caught up to him and grabbed him by the arm. He ‘explained’ everything, but I still couldn’t believe him. I called the police and took him to jail as soon as the police took him I ran off. I couldn’t let them see my face or I wouldn’t be a secret. When I got home I gave everyone a memory loss gas so they didn’t know what happened and everything went back to normal.                                                           

– Isabella Boumelhem – 5 Rainbow 

Helping Santa!
It was Christmas Eve and little excited Lucy was jumping with joy while baking choc-chip cookies with her cheerful mother. “Mother, mother! Can I have one cookie?  Pretty please with a cherry on top.’ Lucy requested while carefully examining the mouth drooling cookies. 

“Don’t you think you should leave them for Santa?’ Her mother questioned. Lucy understandably but sadly nods. “Now if you could please get some dairy milk out of the fridge, that would be amazing!” Her mother suggests while peeling a carrot. 

As Lucy was getting tired, she put out the cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. As joyful little Lucy was skipping up the stairs her joy faded a bit. Her mum was starting a fire under the chimney which could only mean one thing….. Santa is going to get HURT!!! 

 ‘Oh no!’ Lucy wondered to herself, she is going to be determent to help Santa. Lucy went to bed trying not to act suspicious. As soon as the clock struck 12:00am, Lucy knew she had to do something about that fire! Lucy knew Santa would be here any minute. She tip-toed downstairs, as quietly as a mouse to accomplish her secret plan. 

When she got downstairs she could already feel the radiant warmth of the fire. She ran to the backyard and grabbed a metal bucket quickly filled it with cold water. She quickly but quietly jogged to the fire, and splashed the freezing water on the fire which woke up her tired parents in a frenzy. 

The fire instantly grew bigger, it almost looked like the fire was licking the floor. Lucy’s parents couldn’t believe their eyes. Lucy’s dad acted fast! He ran and started to calm down the fire with a fire extinguisher. After the fire was under control, all that Lucy’s parents could say was…… 

‘YOU’RE GROUNDED” 

The next day Lucy ran at lightning speed to see all her presents. There was a slightly decorated pink envelope that Lucy saw in the corner of her eye. It was a thank you letter from the one and only…SANTA! 

– Lilia Pavlenko – 5 Rainbow