I live in a very dangerous city, a city where lots of people are dying every day from stray bullets, armed robbery and people are even being killed by mistake by police officers. I always thought I lived in a war zone, until I saw a video that made me change my mind. Rio de Janeiro is definitely dangerous and you can get killed, but mainly because you were in the wrong place, at the wrong time. Now just try to imagine if everywhere you go is actually THE WRONG PLACE and every time you breathe is THE WRONG TIME. This is probably how people feel in Syria.
Syria is so far from where I live, it is so far from my thoughts that I just wake up and go to bed every single day without even considering caring and worrying about those people. I always felt that I had my own problems, but it is not that simple. Again, I invite you to use your imagination; shut your eyes and try to remember the place where you were born and grew up being bombed day and night, try to imagine you are a mother and there is nowhere you can hide and protect your kids. You will certainly fail in your most important role as a mother, which is to SAVE your kids. There is nothing you can do, no one who can be trusted, you can’t stay and raise your kids the way you had always dreamt to. Imagine you are a Syrian child, and if it is hard for you to do that just close your eyes once more; you have no right to play or to study; you don’t even have the right to ask your Mom not to send you to school because there is no school anymore; you can’t pretend you are sick, because you are probably sicker than you could ever suppose; you can’t play with your toys; you can’t go to your friend’s house for a sleepover because friends are either all dead or they have fled their houses. This, my friends, makes me stop breathing for a while, makes my eyes water till I cannot see anything. This, my dear friends, is war, and the only way out for Syrians is leaving their country and starting from scratch somewhere else. Somewhere where they don’t speak the language, somewhere where they are not welcome, and there will be a reporter to kick their legs and trip them up when they have almost got to freedom.
Hope that you can raise your students’ awareness of this and maybe in the future this new generation will understand wars kill much more than families. Wars burn dreams, destroy hope and lead to hate, pure, evil, hate from one person to another.
Patricia Santos lives in Rio de Janeiro. As a Psychologist, member of IATEFL Global Issues SIG and, of course, an English teacher in a public school, Patricia wants her students and students around the world to think outside the box, bringing videos, songs and lesson plans that will help other English teachers guide their own students towards critical thinking.
Please visit my blog, use my lesson, share and leave a comment.
Let’s join hands and work together.
Slides to be used with the LP https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B9VW78Kh67–MmIzd0htTjV2ek0/view