"No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark"

Haleemah Alaydi Start Date: Sep 26, 2016 - End Date: Jan 23, 2017
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My Travel Story

by: Haleemah Alaydi Start Date: Sep 26, 2016 - End Date: Jan 23, 2017
My name is Haleemah Nawaf Alaydi. I am a 22 year old Palestinian refugee girl who lives in Jordan. My project focuses on collecting funds to help me pursue my higher education in Canada. By helping me pursue my education in Canada, I will be able to experience a new learning environment and empower refugee women in my home country Palestine. As an Arab girl, I have not been afforded many opportunities for expression. For this reason I began to use writing as a tool to speak for myself and engage large audiences. I began writing aged 17, and since then it has helped me cope emotionally on many fronts: with relationships, dealing with my parent’s divorce, absorbing deaths and other feelings. Writing allowed me to unleash the emotions that I had suppressed for years as my father abused me. Through writing, I became free from this period in my life.

My parents got divorced when I was 6 years old. My mother re-married and travelled to Egypt. My father also remarried, but he stayed with me and my two sisters and he was unkind to us. I had these huge gaping holes in my soul. I tried to run to deal with the emotional stress, but ultimately what helped me conquer these troubles was writing. The act of writing helps me tap into parts of myself that often do not make sense until they are down on paper. It was not until I took a creative writing course with one of my professors at university that I finally decided to strive to make a career out of writing. 

Five months ago, I ran out of my father’s house at the middle of the night to escape his torture and injustice. It was 5:00 in the morning when I did it. Scared and breathless, the last thing I saw when I left his murky house was the door shut behind my back. I didn’t look back and I left most of my favourite jackets and toys behind in hopes he wouldn’t wake up to my voice and movement packing these. I only packed what will help me to survive. I am particularly considering Canada as it provides immediate and essential services to refugees including, entry and reception services; permanent accommodation, jobs and settlement services.

In college, my passion for writing consumed me. I won the first place in two creative writing competitions organized by the University of Jordan in the years 2015-2016. I also won Writers in Amman’s 1st Poetry Competition in May 2016.I have conducted a research paper about women's health problems in the developing world as part of an international writing competition. I have also won a writing competition for travel bloggers and writers which was organized by Hike with me Organization in Jordan in September, 2016. I am also a blogger and a fan of short stories and novels. I have my own blog, http://haleemaalaide.WordPress.com– this website is a place for me to extol my thoughts on social injustice, gender equality, relationships, education, politics, youth, feminism, self-development and it has an overarching themes of hope and freedom of speech.

I am a storyteller and performer. I participated in an International Peace Studies Workshop and completed a programme on storytelling and performance with First Class Honours which was sponsored by Spirals of Dialogue in Jordan. I am a spoken word poet- I participated in Jordan's first spoken word poetry slam funded by the USAID which focuses on using spoken word poetry to explore gender and advocacy among youth as part of The Official 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. I am now a training facilitator and volunteer in Global Platform Jordan, where I provide young individuals with creative writing workshops about gender equality, inclusion of women in social action, feminism, sexism and on using poetry to express what is within.

Reading books and writing have always been forms of escapism to me. Over the years, my love for reading has also merged. I began reading great authors like Charles Dickens, Shakespeare, Earnest Hemingway, Sylvia Plath and Harper Lee. My goal has always been an exploration of parts of life that I feel might be not addressed nowadays, parts that fascinate me, and things neglected in the individual struggling with feelings and situations that are identically common to a lot of people.  My ultimate goal of studying in Canada to be a published writer. Canadian universities have an overall reputation of assisting students’ research liberally. In addition, they have great learning resources, which would help me discover different writing types and nourish my artistic soul by providing me with the needed tools to express myself openly.

One of the reasons why I choose to study at Canada is because the country always resettles refugees to save lives and to provide stability to those fleeing persecution who have no hope of relief. When I arrive to Canada, I will pick up the pieces that are left of my life and hopefully start over again. The idea of furthering my education in Canada gradually emerged in my mind. First of all, Canada is part of Europe, which is the hometown of my favourite authors, including Charles Dickens, Chekhov and Jane Austin. It would be very interesting just to think that I may have the opportunity to study in the country where these extraordinary writers began their careers in writing and publishing.

I have a strong ambition to become a distinguished fiction writer and I wish to work through any hardship to achieve my goals. Moreover, I have an assortment of work experiences as an editor, writer and volunteer. I always bring my note book with me wherever I go so that I can immediately write when inspiration strikes. Studying in Canada will considerably prepare me for teaching the course in my home country. I will not only major in what I am passionate about, but I will also expose a different culture and world. My commitment, hard work, confidence and enthusiasm will make me excel at my studies. I very much want to achieve this dream of mine.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. Please help me achieve this valuable and young dream. Help a refugee woman be educated and free.
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