Australian born Raymond Nashar travels to Lebanon with his family and discovers that he loves two country's but has no place where he belongs completely.
[WOMEN SINGING FOLK SONG]
RAYMOND NASHAR (VOICEOVER): I used to be Lebanese. At least I always knew I wasn't Australian. From a very young age, the mean kids would often tell me to go back to where I came from. Even though I'd never been there, it still made sense that I belonged there and that one day I would go back.
In 1994, my family and I spent five months in Lebanon. I was 15. For the first three days, I stayed in my room, by my grandfather's deathbed. People thought I was just jet-lagged. For the next week or so, I wandered the village of my forefathers with my headphones on, wondering what was happening back home-- back where I came from.
It was like another planet, and I was an alien. The buildings bore the scars of war and poverty. The streets weren't like Australian streets. They were just spaces between the buildings. It was beautiful, but it wasn't me.
I used to try and hang out with the boys. It was fun when some of them let me wear their army uniforms. Back in Australia, I cut my hair differently. I wore different clothes and different shoes, and I listened to different music to the Lebanese kids. My Lebanese was slower and had a lot of English words.
Slowly, I warmed to these strangers who are my blood. Discovering my heritage was an unforgettable experience. But losing my identity was scary.
In Lebanon, my relatives would refer to me as "el ajnabi"-- "the foreigner." I asked a cousin, and he said "you're not really Lebanese. Your home is in Australia. You're on a holiday here." And he was right. I wasn't even a citizen, because my mom worried I'd be conscripted if I applied.
I thought I'd discover who I was in Lebanon. Instead, I discovered two lands that I love completely but no place that I completely belonged to.
-This is me in Lebanon with my Lebo haircut and my Lebo jeans and my Lebo beach shoes. That's Lebanon.
[WOMEN SINGING FOLK SONG]
Australia: per forza e per amore
Yeni Hayat = New life
New life new country
My Second Home
Dad, I made it!
Loving Lebanon and Australia
The spaces in between
Where do I belong?
Heart of Otara
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A Fishy Problem
My Beautiful Schwesters
Story education resources
Education Museum Victoria: Drama and Cultural Diversity
These resources for Years 2 - 12 students focus on immigration and cultural diversity through drama based activities. School-based activities are provided for before or after an excursion to the Immigration Museum , or may be used as an additional resource for teaching immigration and/or cultural diversity themes in classroom programs.
Education ACMI Generator - Immigration Stories
Diverse digital stories about the immigrant experience in Australia.
Immigrants who arrived in Australia from countries as varied as Ethiopa, Italy and Vietnam describe the sacrifices made, the experience of arriving in a new country and how immigration impacts on the next generation. Each digital story and theme is accompanied by education resources suitable for VELS 4-6.