Yara, is every child who had to leave their home and go somewhere else… This story will make our children think!
Every parent has an image in their mind of what their children will be like when they grow up. Being a successful adult starts when children are taught the elements of success from a young age. For example, qualities like love, respect, generosity, care and kindness foster happy and thriving individuals. It may be easy to practise these habits with friends, but much harder to treat new people this way—even for adults. But if children are taught these elements early on, these positive habits can become second nature. Creating an awareness of the world from a young age will help children to become considerate and caring adults to those around them.
“Yara, My Friend from Syria” is the first in a series of books that emphasizes on two main goals: The first is to plant good qualities into children’s pure hearts, so they may become like fruitful trees as they grow up. The second is to increase children’s awareness of global affairs, which may seem upsetting at times but are the reality of the world around us.
This book is about a Syrian girl’s first day of school in Canada. It depicts her mixed emotions, as she is happy to be in school again but sad to be away from home. The way her new classmates treat her is crucial to her experience.
Yara, My Friend from Syria
It was Monday morning and Oliver was in his classroom, concentrating on the new grammar lesson being explained by his teacher, Mrs. Smith. Suddenly, there was a knock on the door. It was Mr. Maxwell, the principal of the school, who entered the classroom with a girl walking behind him. She seemed shy.
As they stood by the door, Mr. Maxwell whispered something to Mrs. Smith. She, then, smiled and made way for Mr. Maxwell to move forward and talk to the class. Mrs. Smith took the girl’s hand gently and walked her over to her desk.
“This is Yara, our new student,” said Mr. Maxwell. “She arrived in Canada just two days ago. Although she could have started school next week, she was eager to start earlier. Please help her with any lessons she missed and make her feel welcome in her new home.”
Yara was wondering what her new principal was saying. She knew he was talking about her, but did not understand the details of what he was saying.
“I would also like you to know that Yara speaks three languages. She is a native Arabic speaker, fluent in French, and has some basic knowledge of English. I am sure she will be fluent in English in no time at all. It is your responsibility as her classmates to help her improve her English. Does anyone have any questions?” No one raised their hand. Everyone was stunned into silence!
All the students were wondering where Yara had been prior to coming to Canada. Angela was one of them. She remembered what her parents were saying a few days ago about Syrian families coming to Canada. “Maybe she’s from Syria!” she thought. She was very impatient to go to Yara’s desk and talk to her, but class wasn’t over yet. Still, something seemed strange. Yara was not looking at them!
Oliver was wondering the same thing and was eager to learn more. “Maybe Yara feels shy” was a thought that crossed Oliver’s mind. “After all, everything must be new to her. A new school, new classmates, new classroom, new teachers, new language, new house and a new COUNTRY!” Oliver thought, as he was looking at Yara. “She’s smiling, but I am sure she misses her friends back home. I will try to become her friend.”
When it was break time, Oliver and Angela were the first to rush towards Yara. They smiled at each other, nodding.
Oliver opened his lunch box and offered Yara his apple. “Hi, Yara! Would you like to have an apple?” he asked.
Yara looked at the apple, then looked at Oliver and shook her head. Her lip started to quiver.
“What’s wrong?” Oliver asked.
Yara covered her face and burst into tears.
Oliver and Angela were perplexed.
“Why are you crying, Yara?” asked Angela. Yara kept her face covered, sobbing softly.
Angela and Oliver didn’t know what to do. While they talked, Yara was in another world. Her thoughts were back home. Looking at that apple brought back so many memories.