Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Unfair and Exclusionary Practices

Written by Aya Sherif_3rd Science_Jan 2017

One day, I was preparing to participate as an assistant in the Redwood company. On my way there and as soon as I arrived, I thought about taking the elevator since it was a bit late.

One minute later, the door popped open and I came in adjusting comfortably. Two men and a woman in their early 20s stepped inside. I pressed 4th floor button and waited just for an instant.

I saw the woman walk slowly next to me. It was odd… I was confused even more when she slapped the hand of one of the men who was intentionally trying to reach her pencil skirt. I gasped for what seems like ages, shocked.

But still feeling numb, I was witnessing the rude, offensive harassment. I kept glaring at him but he escaped my gaze as he shifted his eyes to look closely at the poor woman. He then tried to play with her long curly hair which was cascading down her back and smirked saying “Hello beauty! ‘’.

The other man chuckled saying ‘’Come on Kitten, don’t play hard to get! ‘’ but didn’t touch her, leaving the “work’’ to his friend. I bet the woman was terrified with what might happen next. Hatred in her eyes, fire in her body, the girl seemed hopeless.

Just when his filthy hand sought to touch her again, I grabbed it roughly and twisted it in full rotation. He closed his eyes, feeling pain gushing in his veins… Not exaggerating, but that was what it looked like.

I felt my lungs were striving for air. I felt shocked and furious. In 2016, we still see women as sheer bodies… Simple objects to satisfy the bestial desires!! I grabbed the woman’s hand, held it firmly while pointing to the two men, spitting venom out of my tongue telling him ‘’don’t you both dare and step an inch or I slit your throats! ‘’

 Seconds later, the door opened and felt a great relief. I picked the tear rolling down on her cheek with my thumb comforting her telling ‘’don’t you bow or your crown will fall’’.

She smiled softly and I headed to the boss ‘office, dumbfounded, perplexed and drowned in my thoughts. As soon as I got back home, I made it a point to share this experience on all social media in an attempt to raise awareness and make people take a stand and rid the world of these psychopaths and their   nasty manners. 

Express Yourself in Verse


By Sarah Guessmi_ 2nd Arts_Dar Chabaane Sec. School

 I can never resist your temptation
To me, you’re a sample of perfection
My heart is weary… It's love and infatuation

What I’m feeling is true
But you seem to have no clue
That your love for me is the sweetest coup

I remember that night, while sitting in the park
You said your daily life was a bit dark
And that for YOU I was the first spark…

Or that night when we were in the car
You said you just wanted to shine like a star,
Take me away and never look back on your scar

Far… Far away into space
You would hide me in the safest place
Your heart would be our airspace

Years passed by… But I never forgot your face
Before I met you again, I was like a hopeless case
My life was like an exhausting race

My heart was aching
My hands were shaking
My soul was fading

Your face haunted my dream
You never looked when I tried to scream
All in pain, I lost my self-esteem

My love for you was mad
I was good but I felt so sad
To see those who stole you from me glad

I was lost, but your voice was the sound
That always guided me around
Telling me “in your heart, peace can be found”

Now, you’re gone and I pretend not to care
Looking strong, but I am in despair
Into your photos, I always stare

 Here I am…Packing all my stuff
Leaving those who made my life rough
Going away, travelling… the world is vast enough

Checked by Abdelmalek HADJI_ Dar Chabaane Secondary School

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Unfair and Exclusionary Practices

Written by Ghada Bouzana_ 3rd Arts_ Jan 2017

Good Afternoon schoolmates!

Stealing and killing are undeniably seen as a crime…But have you ever seen somebody convicted for destroying a soul?! I see you surprised!
Actually, this is always ignored and it goes unnoticed.

Hurting the soul is not visible, you don’t see blood…but it’s as painful as hurting the body…Why aren’t we mindful of that?

It is an eyesore and heartache to witness humans make fun of other humans based on prejudice. Here, we expose the connection of an idiot to a victim.

The idiot is the person who allows himself/herself to accept preconceived ideas created by ancestors or society without digging deep into their credibility or trying to find out their foundations. 

Nobody questions those ideas as random and that they have absolutely nothing to do with reality or truth...
So, you see him or her blindly adopting such thoughts and forcing them on reality to make other simpletons take their ideas as an absolute truth.  
And that's how the vicious circle of dumbness goes on!
Yes, we are all dumb to a certain degree, people!

Today, I'm asking you to be lucid. Open your eyes and weigh things up! Use your BRAIN_ the only thing that seems to make us HUMANS- to make coherent judgements.
Why should we call people ugly for their dark complexion?!
Why should we underestimate others because they are fat, tall or short?!
Why should we lock a woman at home simply because she is a "female"?!
Why should we call someone terrorist because he is a Muslim?!
Why should we build mental or physical barriers–between us - and constantly create such meaningless problems?!
Why should we always look aside instead of facing reality?!

People! My friends! With our ignorance and passivity, we've made this life a living HELL! We should take a stand NOW.

Open your eyes! Just count… How many people have committed suicide because of that?!  How many of them have lost their self-esteem?!
Our dumbness led them to madness unfortunately…We ARE to blame.
Look around you, how many victims should we see before we sense our dumbness?!
We are the “HUMAN RACE”, but we are destroying each other!!
 Let’s stop this madness… This torture…This constant agony!
Let’s stop scarring our own souls! 

Unfair and Exclusionary Practices

By Nour Azaiez_ 3rd Science2_ Jan 2017

It has always been evident to me that the problem of homophobia is still well alive in our society. It is in fact one of the many discriminatory actions that are not only accepted, but also encouraged. This case has been proven to me beyond a shadow of doubt when I was wandering in the city with one of my male friends who happened to be openly gay. This guy had what some would call "feminine features" and was wearing earrings.

Along with the hostile stares, the shoves by guys and the occasional name-calling and insults, one incident in particular had marked that infamous day in my memory.
One middle-aged man had come up to us in a shop, raging with fury, and slapped my friend right on the face knocking him to the floor. It didn't stop there unfortunately; he proceeded to kick him in the gut violently while shouting "DEATH TO HOMOSEXUALS".

I couldn't believe what I was witnessing; that someone would act monstrously to a peaceful stranger who never did him any harm.
I stepped in immediately and started to push the guy off him. I shouted for help but no one intervened. They only watched silently, some laughed, and some even cheered. It took a lot of energy and time of me to get the man off my friend because of how considerably heavy and strong he was compared to both of us.

Even then, the man wanted to continue beating my friend. Yet this time I stepped between them before he could jump at him asking him what the hell he thought he was doing beating a person half his age and strength for no apparent reason.
He roared with laughter saying that "she" is no man and that she indeed did him great harm by merely existing and being gay, that this is an insult to the public that this "thing" is out and walking freely along "our" streets.

Apparently, the man, and everyone else around, thought it high treason and blasphemous that my friend being a homosexual, was somehow some kind of blow-in-the-face to their religion and God.
They also agreed that he is a public danger, "he WILL sexually harass us" cried the men with conviction. They are certain that he WILL, just because he happens to be attracted to men rather than women.
"Ironically", I told them, "that's what every woman suffers from on a daily basis her whole life. Yet when we complain about it, we're immediately silenced by your "not all men" and "men are not animals". It is the same situation here." They did not think so. "It's not the same" they said. "Women can take it… It's just how it is working."

What they were saying was "sexual harassment is okay as long as we're the doers not the (potential) victims." It is a belief deeply rooted in their minds that men have always been immune to harassment and always should be. Now that other men "might" do the same to them that they do to women every day, it's suddenly blasphemous. It's degrading. It's unacceptable. And the (potential) doer must die.
This is absurdly ironic because if we go down using the twisted logic of theirs, all men must die. Most sexual predators are men… So all men are "potential harassers"! Yet no one advocates for a mass killing against men …

I tried to convince them that their arguments were illogical and inconsistent. And talked to them about how scientifically, homosexuality is NOT regarded as a mental illness as they think. It is an inherited belief… And if we followed their allegation, we might as well start burning women for wizardry.
I told them that they have absolutely no right telling my friend, nor any person for that matter, who he was "supposed to be" attracted to. The matter is completely personal and is not, and should never be, a public matter or a debatable topic in every corner.
It is highly unlikely that that man changed his perception of homosexuality. But at least neither he nor the others could disprove my arguments.

I have made it my business since then, to raise awareness over this huge issue. I have gone to protests against the laws made against homosexuals, was involved in debates where the subject was raised and went to Gay-pride and similar parades advocating for their rights.

What I continuously do now, is a new age kind of activism that has been growing over the years. It's "social media activism" which is an effective way of giving people the power to call out injustices,  misconceptions and bad social representations and bring about a better understanding of other people and their culture. Posts shared could change mindsets, laws or even start revolutions.

Through these posts, I made it a point to raise people’s awareness through peaceful debates and conversations mainly by disproving the arguments against homophobia and xenophobia. I wanted to show everybody that it’s unconceivable to bad-mouth and insult someone and call it freedom of speech.

May be the reason why such males are homophobic is their deep down fear of being emasculated. Society's exaggerated directives of “hyper-masculinity” have degraded “femininity”.

I have received a lot of positive feedback and thankful wishes which I am proud of. I will not stop fighting for the oppressed –whoever they are, whatever their tendencies- and so should everyone else (I suppose).

My motto is:  "I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to death your right to say it." 

Saturday, 16 January 2016

Love out of Rubbles

Love out of Rubbles

My passion is louder than the explosion sound
Sorry DARLING! no flowers, no gifts, no guests are around

If it takes shape, this place could be a shrine
Where stands my angel... who looks so much divine

Today, DARLING, I put my gun down
With the country’s long pain, our love was about to drown

Safe in my arms, enshrined by my heart
Only death, BABY, will keep us apart

Just like in old vows, where people always swore
To be devoted to the one they would value and adore

I promise, love and peace will always be my plea
I will open the cages and set all the confined doves free

(Yasmine Kelboussi- January 2016- 3rd Arts)
(Dar Chabaane Sec- School)
(Checked by Abdelmalek Hadji)

Saturday, 28 March 2015


    Twenty-Seven years of a happy marriage, twenty-Seven years of a stable household were more than she ever asked for. Since she was a young child, she dreamt of aging with the man she would love and of seeing her grandchildren grow older…

     Our Story begins here at the very beginning of 1962’s long waited summer; June 4th, to be precise. That day was a Monday –God Mrs Shannon hated that day- the day on which her 16-year-old son Damon started working with his father at the factory since they needed every penny to pay the house rent and some of their debts. She, too, wanted to work but her husband said that hours of assembling heavy car parts were too hard to bear for a woman. That day was a rainy day, she had a premonition that something bad was about to happen. What exactly?! She had no idea. At the door, she kissed both her son and her husband goodbye, then came and hugged them tightly as if that was the last moment she would see them.
 Mrs Shannon had to distract herself from the anxiety within, so she went shopping to cook her son’s favorite meal “celebrating” his first day at work ….Time flew by like so fast an arrow that she didn’t realize that it was almost dinner time!!
Dinner ready, house clean… the mother had nothing else to do but to sit down and wait for her dear son and husband. So long she had to wait… “What could have happened to them? Why are they three hours late?” she was repeating to herself. She went to the kitchen, turned on the radio and her heart started thumping… “A tragic accident had caused several casualties including the death of a teenage boy and his father and some other seriously injured passersby. Our deepest condolences to their families” the radio announced…

    A month after their awful misfortune, Mrs Shannon was still shocked, still denying the fact that she had lost all her family. She even blamed herself for their death. The house owner kicked her out because she couldn’t pay her rent. The poor woman had nowhere to go. At that moment she believed that all the odds were against her and that her whole life was nothing more than a curse. She pledged that a day will come when she regains her safety and happiness… But she had to do something to survive. What could she do? The only activity she mastered was housework. “Working as a housemaid for a rich family would guarantee me shelter and food”, she said.  Only one family accepted her request- the Martins- a widow named Elizabeth and Amanda, her 5-year-old daughter.

The job of Mrs Shannon consisted in raising the little Amanda. The arrogant lady wasn’t a good mother; she refused to acknowledge her child except when disciplining her…The girl became quickly attached to her nanny. To her, Mrs Shannon was like the mom she wanted so much to have.

 While her mom was busy attending and throwing tea parties, the poor maid was taking good care of the little Amanda. Elise never missed an occasion to vex her at home, in private and in public. She typically enjoyed humiliating her in front of her extravagant friends. She even told her daughter not to consider Mrs Shannon more than a servant, a doormat she can trample at any time. That was very cruel… Mrs Shannon cried in silence. “How can a human being treat another with disdain just because he or she is different or looks different?"…

One day, when the poor maid was reading the usual bed-time story to the little Amanda, she was startled by a remark made by the little girl…Words that that may put the little girl in trouble.
The girl innocently turned to her after finishing the story, looked at her with admiration, then said " Nanny, why am I not black like you?"
The woman was surprised, stared back at her for a while, and then smiled gently. In her mind, thoughts were wrestling. She knew long ago that the girl wasn't like her mother despite the noticeable resemblance. The difference of course wasn't in the appearance. The girl, unlike her mother, was loving and warm-hearted and got along with all the kids she has met despite their colour and their status.

 “Why did she ask such a question? She can be proud of how she looks and how she lives…but nobody is born racist”, Mrs Shannon replied to her own question.
If her mom hears what her daughter said, both of us will be in trouble. I'm used to it, she thought, but the poor angel would be thrashed... Elizabeth may also accuse me of brain-washing her daughter and kick me out".

“It’s just a color sweetie. It doesn't matter how we look. We’re born that way. What matters is how we grow to be. "The girl looked perplexed but nanny continued ". Let's put it this way; when you eat your cereals at breakfast, how do you choose them?"
"… taste of course", replied the girl.
" Exactly" she said, “It would be stupid to choose them based on their color instead of their taste. It goes the same with people darling.”
" Oh, I see. It’s like when the beauty loved the beast for his good heart although he was ugly."
"Exactly", replied Mrs Shannon.
    Shannon put the book down, kissed Amanda goodnight, and was about to blow out the candles when the girl whispered “Don’t. I want to read it once more." Shannon left the room knowing that the girl could not read, she was just looking at the pictures.

       Amanda loved books though she was too young to read. When her eyes failed her to continue "reading", the book slid and hit the candles before it landed on the cold floor.
She was left alone in her enormous bedroom. She could feel temperature rising in her body; she was sweating, shocked by the terrible scene when she opened her eyes. Flames were devouring everything around her. A voice from the other side of the door was calling her name. She called for help but nothing happened. Then the bare truth hit her, the wreckage caused by the fire had blocked the door. She wanted to scream but words have failed her. Her brain seemed to be burning with the rest of the stuff in her room. Flames surrounded her in a corner, she fell on the floor. Every muscle in her body seemed to scream, she felt like she was boiling. Only her lungs seemed to fight, gasping for a breath they couldn't reach. Her eyes were closing now, but she could still hear a voice of broken glass. An arm was holding her, dragging her away. Was it death? Yet how could she feel so comfortable in death's hands? She saw a face… It was her guardian angel.

The next thing she felt was when she was laying on the floor, a woman beside her, her mother, looking anxious and pale. The first words she uttered were «Nanny!!! Mommy?…. where is she?" Her mom looked even paler now. She explained to her what happened. 

         It was Shannon who saved her life. She broke the window, got past the flames and grabbed her; something fell on her head while getting her out of the window. She lost balance, and flames surrounded her. Only after two fire-men who intervened that she was taken out. “They say she won't make it to the hospital even if they drove her immediately”, her mom said.
“I know she saved you, but it was her fault! How could she let this happen? She was supposed to blow out the candles. She put your life in danger!  Black trash!" she spat on the floor.
Amanda wasn't listening; she had spotted Shannon with people around her. She got up, and ran to her. Her mom was shouting something she could not hear clearly.

        She couldn't stand seeing her in that state. Her skin was burned and deep cuts were all over her body. Her head was bleeding but no one helped. They only stared. “Can anyone help?” she shouted.
She sobbed harder and felt incapable. Her mom was there now, too.
Shannon looked at the girl, gathering her force and said “Don’t cry, baby. We are all dying. I’m not afraid of that. You shouldn't either." She sighed, lifted her eyes to the sky and said “someone’s waiting for me there… Very dear to my heart… An angel like you. He left me early… He’s waiting for me… I’m going to meet him. I miss him so much…”
Amanda remembered the story Nanny told her before about her son. The little girl started to have a clear idea about death. But her thoughts were interrupted by Mrs Shannon’s words.

       Mrs Shannon turned to her Elizabeth. She lifted her hand, placed it on her bleeding head then held it to the woman's eye level and told her “we all bleed the same color after all…"

     The words devastated Elizabeth. She felt ashamed for what she did and said. The smile on Mrs Shannon’s dead face haunted all her life… 

Written by 
Youssef Mabrouki & Nour Azaiez

(1st Sec- Dar Chabaane Sec. School)

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Street Children

I encountered an appalling sight when walking in the street. By night, scores of sullen-faced, pale, desperate ragamuffins were sitting beside each other in front of a supermarket. They were children "of" the street. 

When I wanted to find out about their mysterious world, I discovered a myriad of hidden things. These feeble creatures aged between 6 - believe it or not - and 14 had to walk for miles in the gruesome streets of the huge city, looking for some money. It happens that, at the end of the day, they have nothing to eat. Therefore, they have to slumber with empty stomachs. And what a "beautiful, peaceful" slumber it is! Exposed to extreme summer heat and icy winter nights, they are most thankful to God for having offered them those few minutes of sleep. I also found out that many of them, especially the boys, are drug abusers, even drug dealers. To make matters worse, I knew that some of them have been illegally transported from their homelands to this city, and that some smugglers serving as mediators ensured it. This is real misery, poverty in its utmost aspect. 

As I asked about the reasons that forced them to lead this street life, I found out that street children shared almost the same life-story  They were either escaping an authoritative or violent family member or contributing in the family income of a family that also lives in the street. For some teenagers among these children, opting for the street life was motivated by a desperate search for freedom, as they can do whatever they want –or at least that was their belief.

Although I deeply feel sorry for those children with agonizing souls, I have to say that their situation will become much worse if there is no real initiative to embrace their cause on the national level. Listen to them, take care of them but also make sure others don’t go through the same hellish conditions.

Mohamed Ali Slama-3rd Arts1- 
Dar Chabaane Sec School
(Checked by A- Hadji)