A Syrian Young Man Asks Bombs or Books?

This is a TEDx talk by Hasan Al- Akraa.  He saw fire balls flying over his house hitting the village next to us he says.  He indicates they realised they were bombs.  He tries to make people imagine how you would feel if bombs flying over your head.  He speaks of bombs falling one after the other.  He said the village next door was completely destroyed.  His parents decided to go to Malaysia.  He was 12 years old.  He looks from a bus window and saw the horrible views of houses being bombed, hospitals, schools and dead bodies.  He asked himself ‘why am I living?’.  Why am I running away from this, I should protect this land.  He wondered who is going to rebuild the country? He said I can fight for my country by not using weapons but using education and knowledge.  This is what is natural.  This is where real change arises.  Fighting only perpetuates the problem, education illuminates solutions.  He advises helping.  I like that he says to help for the sake of helping, we are all people, all in it together. He said they never thought of war in Syria and become refugees and their Malaysian friends would help them back as his family helped them.

It is interesting how refugee status changes life.  He had the experience of officials approaching him, handcuffing him, placed in a lorry and then going to detention centres.  He speaks of his preference to die in a war rather than a detention centre.  Makes me reflect on Australia detention centres.  When people are vulnerable always they experience abuse.  He spoke of other refugee children whose father was beheaded, arrested and put in a detention centre for the crime of persecution.  After 9 days he was released.  He feels concerned about the children and wished he had super powers to help the children.  He said he felt traumatised.  He asked himself ‘what can I do?’.  He explains this is the reality inside himself.  He looked within his own power and discovered there is much he can do.  He speaks with wisdom. Clearly this was a powerful experience.  He found his skill was teaching and wanted to help refugee children.  I love this.  He inspired the children to come to school.  He encouraged them to seek education so they do not go through what he went through. This is what empathy looks like.  He realised his skill of public speaking.  His aim is to raise awareness in Malaysia and worldwide.  Some of his friends said he is so lucky to be a refugee. He was surprised.  They said their government gave so much.  We get this rhetoric in Australia.  There is fears that they get too much, take jobs etc.  This is rhetoric that divides rather than joins.  That is how you know it is fear based.

He is an impressive young man.  Young people can do anything, just believe in yourself!!

Mohandas Gandhi

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

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