Beverly Hills Intensive English Centre INTENSIVE ENGLISH CENTRE  
Beverly Hills I E C Home Page
Key Learning Areas
The Grounds
Links Page
English Learning Resources
Samah's Journey

by Qing Hua Rachel XIE

Each year, thousands of people migrate to Australia for various reasons, and each person ‘s experiences are significant. This interview with a young Jordanian girl Samah, who migrated to Australia four months ago, assisted me with my study of journeys. A journey suggests a movement form one place to another and includes all the experiences under gone along the way. The young Jordanian girl’s physical journey to Australia, incurs experiences which affect her psychological state, both intellectually and emotionally.

Physical journeys occur over land or sea, and also tend to be accompanied by learning and understanding. Summer was born in a traditional Muslim family in Jordan, which is a small South Arabian country. She spent her childhood there and had started schooling before she migrated to Australia. “ I didn’t know much about other countries, but now I begin to know some of them. I know Australia has more wealthy natural resources than my country, also the society is more democratic”. This physical journey has given Samah an opportunity to learn about the world.

“ I can not imagine that there are so many cultural groups of people in the world. I find that their cultural values are different from mine, I couldn’t understand them at first . . . "

In addition, I come to understand that the physical journeys could result in learning about new people. Summer met many different people in Australia through the journey. People from Asia, Africa, Middle-East and so on which has broadened her horizons. “ I cannot imagine that there are so many cultural groups of people in the world. I find that their cultural values are different from mine, I couldn’t understand them at first, but now I think that these values are not bad…”. This evidence shows us that there is interaction between people who are from different ethnic groups. Summer’s interaction with other people has made her more tolerant of others. Her journey is from one point of belief to another point of understanding and acceptance, hence she is also having a mental journey during the physical journey.

Physical journeys often involve emotions, and many people can have a stronger connection with their homeland when they take a journey away from home. During the interview, Samah showed her sadness of leaving home: “ it’s very sad to leave a place that you’ve lived in for more than 10 years…”. Also she always shows her love and connection to her country: “ I miss my homeland. Every week I look up the events that happen in my country, and the internet and phone are the way I keep in touch with my homeland. I’ve never been so connected with my homeland”. This is similar to our set text, the film “ Rabbit Proof-Fence” by Phillip Noyce. When the main characters, the three young half-caste aboriginal girls Molly, Gracie and Daisy is taken away home to begin a physical journey, they are extremely emotional, this can be seen through their sorrowful expressions. The Rabbit Proof-Fence which provides the physical path home for the girls, is used as a strong visual symbol of the connection between the girls and their family. We learn from this that physical journeys often involve emotional journeys.

Making choices is an important part of our life journey. The decision we make can affect our next stage in life and even the future. Migrating to Australia is a personal choice for Samah. This decision has meant that she has gone on a physical, emotional and intellectual journey. She gains a better education and future in her life journey. Samah’s choice can remind us of the issue of personal choice in the play “ Whose Life is it Anyway” by Brian Clark. The main character Ken Harrison is paralysed from the neck down after a serious car accident. When he realises that his life is no longer worth living, he decides to be discharged from the hospital. This personal choice can make him die, that is it influences his life journey. All of the above show that a choice may make a person’s life totally different, it changes the direction of one’s life journey.

“ it’s very sad to leave a place that you’ve lived in for more than 10 years…”

Journeys are powerful, they challenge us, but also extend and inspire us. In the young Jordanian girl’s life journey, we can see that she is over coming the adversity which is challenging her, extending her and encouraging her. “ language is a big obstacle in my journey, but every time I learn a new word, I will be inspired because I know that I am developing”. Journeys are the processes of overcoming adversity and development.

The interview lasted for about half an hour, but nevertheless it furthered my understanding of the concept of ‘journeys’. The physical journey to Australia has impacted on the young Jordanian girl, who has developed physically, emotionally and intellectually. The power of the journey challenged her thinking and broadened her understanding of new places and people. Also, through her journey we can learn about the importance of personal choices. Samah will continue her life journey with the great passion—“ I want to be a nurse to help people”. This is the catalyst of her journey, it will inspire her to go on a successful life journey.