Uploaded By Hart House Hart House
Talking Walls - Culture Link exhibit - Sawsan Transcript: Sawsan When people ask me where you from, I don?t say I?m from Syria, I say I?m mixed. I?m Lebanese and Syrian. They ask if I want to go back to Lebanon and of course I want to go back, like that?s the place I grew up in. That?s the place I met my people, that?s the place I met people that actually can understand me. It wasn?t that easy coming here. When I came to Canada, I didn?t have the choice to come or not, I just came. I was excited about it and but when I came, I was like ?oh my gosh, I wish I could go back?. I should have appreciated my country, I thought I?m never going to leave. I thought I?m going to be happy when I knew I?m gonna leave. So my full name is Sawsan. My background is Syrian but I lived in Lebanon my whole life and I came to Canada a year and two months ago. I am fourteen years old, turning fifteen in few days. Umm, I go to Central Toronto Academy in grade nine and my school hasn?t been going that good. I?ve experienced racism, I?ve been bullied a lot well I?ve been bullied since I was even in Lebanon because of my colour because I?m kind of brown, or caramel, so anyway and the school I went to in Lebanon were all like white, white and they were like ?oh my gosh she?s brown?. I came here and they were like ?oh my god, she?s Arab or Muslim? and I just hated my life because of that. But being here is also a good thing and I should appreciate it too because I don?t know what happens too. Like when I didn?t appreciate my country, look what happened. And I should also focus on the positive sides of being here not the negative ones. And I?m so grateful for being here, for getting opportunities to be with Youth and Arts, doing this right now. Some people ask me so how?s it like in Canada, do you like it, what don?t you like about it. Basically, I like Canada it?s a really nice place to be in. You can find yourself a place in literally everything, even if it?s not your place. Like I can?t sing but I found myself a place to learn how to sing and sing there. They?re also helping me achieve my goal, which is making my parents proud. Because when I go back go thinking about how hard they worked to raise me like that, to bring me here, to get me prepared for life, I just feel kind of bad because I didn?t do anything for them. Like I don?t care how much I have to try, how hard I have to work, I just want to do something to make them proud of me. I want them to be like ?yes that?s my daughter?, it?s really nice when I think about them proud of me. It just gives me a special feeling. I just want you guys to appreciate everything you have because when it?s gone there?s no going back. So please appreciate your happiness, your country, your parents, your life, and ya that?s all I wanted to say. Nour - My name is Nour Abu Shabah, youth program coordinator at CultureLink. Culturelink settlement and community services is a Toronto-based agency serving new comers and the community for over 30 years. In collaboration with Hart House, York University, and a center for race and culture, Culturelink was able to implement a youth and children led initiative for creating art in a variety of different mediums to express belongingness, identity, and immigration. For more information about Culturelink children and youth, please follow us on Twitter @clinkyouth. Thank you so much for listening.