Loving Lebanon and Australia
When Lebanese immigrant Sam Haddad migrated to Australia he encountered ignorance and racism but via a well timed punch he learned the value of mateship and tolerance and began to love his adopted country.
We have a saying that only citizens who are loyal to their adopted homeland of Australia can be true to their country of origin. Lebanon is my birth place, where my roots are, where there are thousands of years of civilization and culture, where my extended family and friends are, where the towns in the mountains looks like hanging styles at night, and of course, the food. There is nothing like it in the world. My other love is for my adopted country, Australia. But it wasn't like that when I migrated in 1966.
I was working at P&G, building telephone stations for interstate and country Victoria, doing shift work. I was the only Arabic speaking person in that section. There was still a bit of that ignorance about new Australians those days. I got along with most people there very well, except one or two who were not only ignorant, they were arrogant, as well. They kept teasing me by calling me wog and saying, where are your sandals, that kind of thing.
I did not bother answering them. I kept to myself. After a while, I could not take it anymore, so I punched one of them in the jaw. I broke one of my fingers and his jaw. Everyone came to hear the story. Most of them sided with me. They were polite and understanding, and they took the man outside and said, you won't come here to work unless you apologize to Sam. And so he did. From that time on, they were fighting each other who was going to take me to the pub, and who was going to invite me to their parties and barbecues.
This accident helped me develop my values about mateship, tolerance, and understanding, and my love to Australia. Australia took me in her arms and taught me to respect others. It gave me the opportunity to grow, and prosper, and allowed my community to express its culture and heritage, and be a part of this wonderful, multicultural society.
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
The story of an immigrant filmmaker
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.