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ALI AND THE LONG JOURNEY TO AUSTRALIA

ALI AND THE LONG JOURNEY TO AUSTRALIA Annas, Aminat, Kavi, Mohamed, Mohammed, Na Hay, Nasiya, Nathan, Parmina, Ro Han, Sithwat, Temira and Wahida

Annas, Aminat, Kavi, Mohamed, Mohammed, Na Hay, Nasiya, Nathan, Parmina, Ro Han, Sithwat, Temira and Wahida


Ali and the Long Journey to Australia Authors: Annas, Aminat, Kavi, Mohamed, Mohammed, Na Hay, Nasiya, Nathan, Parmina, Ro Han, Sithwat, Temira and Wahida with the help of Mervi Kaukko and Noble Park Primary School. TRUST project University of Tampere School of Management Kanslerinrinne 1 33100 Tampere Finland The Academy of Finland key project (SA 304146) Copyright: Mervi Kaukko, TRUST project ISBN: 978-952-03-0616-8 (print) ISBN: 978-952-03-0617-5 (pdf) www.transculturaltrust.net


STORYCRAFTING WITH CHILDREN The spark for this book came from a research project in which children with a refugee background talked and drew about their happy school memories. As one of the participants was finishing her nuanced picture and a lengthy story she noted that she has so much to tell; wouldn’t it be nice if more people could hear these stories? Ali and the Long Journey to Australia brings together the stories of 13 students at Noble Park Primary School, Australia. The book is fictional but much of it is rooted in events the authors have heard about, witnessed or lived through. It is the product of ten weeks of collaborative storycrafting, background research and artwork by a group of talented primary school students from seven countries. The book ends as the main character Ali settles into life in Australia: his family is reunited and he is welcomed to a good school. Later events are left for the reader to imagine. The real-life model for Ali’s school is the authors’ own school in Noble Park. Having observed this school closely, I am convinced that the next phases of Ali’s journey would have been given an excellent start from this school. Unlike any other school I have seen as a researcher, teacher or mother, this school makes an effort to provide students such as Ali with what they need the most: positive relationships, care and safety. This is ensured, for example, by having extra staff to support the learning and wellbeing of not only the students, but also their families. I am grateful that the school welcomed me and found the time for students to work on this book. Without this support, Ali and the Long Journey to Australia would not have been finished. Mervi Kaukko


My name is Ali. I live in Mogadishu, Somalia with my mother Jamaad, father Aaden and my little sister Fatima. I am ten years old. Fatima is just five, she is not big like me. We live in a house, here.


On Friday, my father does not go to work. He has stayed home many days now. He says there is not so much work anymore. We go to a park near our home. We all, mother, father, Fatima and me, play hide and seek. I find the best spot to hide! All others are found and I am still hiding. I am still hiding when I hear a loud bang.


My mother and father call me, I hear Fatima crying. Why do they call me? I am still hiding. The loud noise does not make me want to move. I am quiet as a mouse. Father finds me and drags me away from my very good hiding place.


It is not a game, my father tells me. We must run home. The bomb has hit our home! Part of the building has collapsed. My bedroom wall is broken! Father wants to get our money and important papers. I want to get my soccer ball. Mother pulls us away, because we must go!


We go to our cousins’ home outside the city. My aunt makes us tea and my parents talk. Father has black rings under his eyes, mother is crying. I look through the window and I see men coming to our door. They ask for my father. I hear him saying he is not going with them. Then they ask for me. I wonder why they ask for me. My father says they cannot have me. He gives us a kiss and goes.


In two or three days after that, we leave. I want to wait for father to come back, but my mother says we must go now. We go to the sea, the Indian Ocean, and we wait in a line for a long time. We go on a boat with many people. The boat leaves the shore. It is very dark.


It is a very long boat ride. Fatima wants to play but mother is too tired to play. Fatima and I play rock, paper, scissors and then we play I spy. Mother has chocolate in her pockets. It makes us happy.


I wake up in the water. The boat is upside down. It is so cold! I hear people screaming. I can see the coast, it is not far. We all float on our life jackets. Fatima is next to me in the water. She is scared. I tell Fatima we are okay, we will not sink. I am scared, too.


I hear a loud noise. I see a helicopter! It comes near us. Fatima is the first one to climb the ladder up to the helicopter. I go after her. I am happy to get out of the water. I am happy to go to a helicopter! I have never been before.


We get dry clothes and warm blankets. Then we drive somewhere in a small bus. I look outside the bus window. Places, trees and houses look very different from Somalia. Mother tells us that we are in Australia. I have heard about Australia in school. I close my eyes and I imagine, what Australia looks like.


I fall asleep and dream of Australia.


We go to a big, grey building. We meet with some women and men. One speaks our language, others speak a language I don’t understand. They want to know where we come from. Mother tells them. They ask us more questions. Mother tells them about the bomb, and about our father leaving. I tell them about my soccer ball and that my bedroom no longer has a wall. A man smiles at me.


We go to an apartment. We can stay there for now, this is safe, mother tells us. How about father, I wonder. Mother tells me not to worry. Everything will be good.


We have been here for a year now. We go to a school. This is our school. I am in year 5, Fatima is in Prep. Our school has a big garden and chickens. I am happy every day when I go to school. I play with my friends. One of them is from Somalia.


One afternoon I come home. Mother is crying. I get worried. Have the bombs started breaking houses here, too? Mother tells me she is crying because she is happy. Father has called her. He had heard from our cousin that we are in Australia. My father does not have to fight in the war anymore. Mother tells us that father has left Somalia and he is coming here, too.


Not long after that, our father comes home. We have missed him so much! I think he has missed us, too. All will be good now. We are all safe, ready for our new life.


Ali and Fatima are spending a nice afternoon with their parents when a bomb hits their home. The family leaves everything behind to escape the war in Somalia. After a long boat ride, a shipwreck and meetings with officials, Ali, Fatima and their mother find safety in Australia. Read the story to find out more.

Profile for TRUST project

Ali and the Long Journey to Australia  

Ali and the Long Journey to Australia brings together the stories of 13 students at Noble Park Primary School, Australia with the help of Dr...

Ali and the Long Journey to Australia  

Ali and the Long Journey to Australia brings together the stories of 13 students at Noble Park Primary School, Australia with the help of Dr...

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