A World of Possibilities from the ESL Program

By: Nataly Shaheen, Diana Catargiu, Suzanne Soares, Daniela Claudia Cirip and Sara Cordeiro Alexandre 

A team from the ESL Program has launched a new project, entitled “Stories of Home.” We aim to exhibit the inspiring stories of our students and faculty in different art forms, including poetry, short prose, recipes, illustrations and photography.

We have experienced the power of storytelling in and out of the classroom, and it has helped us to connect as a community despite our many differences. We want our students to tell the stories of their roots, aspirations, and longings. We also want them to share the stories of their heartaches, tears, and fears. We want to let others see their power and resilience, the strength and courage it takes to build a new life in a new country.   

We are looking for contributions from our ESL Program and TESOL Plus students, as well as faculty and administrators. We want to encourage all students from all skill levels to submit their creative work regardless of their language skills. With the help of the Journalism program, we will publish these contributions via multiple platforms, including a website and a printed collection. 

If you’re interested in participating, please contact Nataly Saheen (nataly.shaheen[at]sheridancollege.ca) or Diana-Crina Catargiu (dianacrina.catargiu[at]sheridancollege.ca)


See some samples of our students’ work:
I am from the country of jasmine and the city of bitter oranges
Whose smell blends with history and magic. 
I am from the country of Ferris wheels and intricate monuments
From an old capital where mosques and churches play a symphony
From stories about love and glory
I am from a place that hates war, hates death, hates sadness, but unfortunately has had to live them all
From a heaven without people is not worth going to

- Heba Darwich (Syria)
I am from the S-shaped country 
Where foreigners make YouTube videos
I am from the famous Ao Dai traditional costume
From Chung and Tet Cakes, which bring happiness when the new year starts

- Tessie Phan (Vietnam)
I am from the land of the Incas and the Andes and their mountains that want to touch the sky.
I am from Machu Picchu, from the magical and ancestral city where energy floats in the air.
I am from the strength of my parents and the constant struggle of my mother.
I am from Peru.

- Elizabeth Milagros Saravia Chira (Peru)
I am from the land of oldest civilizations and its ancient roots.
I am from a family full of respect, forgiveness, and unconditional love.
I'm from a city where delectable sweets and delicious dishes are made.
I am from a country where millions of people were killed and shoes mixed with blood,
I am from staying strong no matter what,
from dark black nights and the sound of warplanes.

- Aise Memik (Syria)
I am from where Guests are God and Serving is main religion.
I am from where in the morning-evening temple bells ring.
I am from singing, dancing and festivals everywhere.
I refuse to those who run after fake shine,
Which is today, but tomorrow will die.
I miss my country India, I miss my soul in Rishikesh.
I don't know when I will see my home again.

- Deepali Dang (India)
It does not matter where I am from,
I am from here, I am from there,
I am from everywhere.
Palestine flows in my blood, but my heart is in Syria
And I see the world through my Canadian eyes.

- Ruba Darraj (Palestine & Syria)