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Highest Aspirations, E21 - Homes: Refugee Story, With ESL Teacher and Author Winnie Yeung

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What happens when an ESL teacher helps a refugee student tell his story? How can relating simple, day to day activities in a war-torn country help us understand that people have more similarities than differences? Why is it so important to understand what our students want to do with their learning?

We discuss these questions and much more in Part 1 of a two part series about the book Homes: A Refugee Story. Winnie Yeung, an ESL teacher in Edmonton, met Abu Bakr in the fall of 2015. What started as an attempt to help tell this refugee student’s story in a speech turned into a much bigger project, resulting in the publication of the book.

"Homes: A Refugee Story tells the true story of Edmonton high school student Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, whose family left Iraq in 2010 in search of a safer life. They moved to Homs, Syria — just before the Syrian civil war broke out. As told to Winnie Yeung, Homes tells Bakr’s story of growing up during the Syrian civil war, and ultimately moving with his family to a new home in Edmonton, Canada. It’s a story that’s both heartbreaking and hopeful, about the devastation of war and the enduring love of family — an urgently necessary read for understanding Syria and what it’s like to be a refugee." (Freehand Books - Interview with Winnie Yeung, about Homes: A Refugee Story)

Be sure to listen to part 2 of the series (episode 22) where we talk with Abu Bakr al-Rabeeah about his experience as a refugee who was given the opportunity to tell his story.

During the episode, we reference the following resources: