My mother. My blood. My life…

Sheetal Makhan (AYC)

In one of my classes recently, we spoke about patriotism and what it really means. What does it mean to be patriotic?
[patriotic means to express deep devotion/love for one’s country]

Well, this morning, I had a surprise when one of my AY students, Otman Eltalis appeared at my office door. I was surprised because he told me that he wasn’t coming to school today as he had to run some errands this morning.

He said: “I just came to give you this,” as he handed me a sheet of paper. A piece of writing to mark? Sure! It was nothing out of the ordinary. Until I actually read it. The best way of knowing if something was written from the heart is if it gives the reader goosebumps. It did more than that for me. I could feel Otman’s emotions. With my extra writing sessions that I have with my students, I tell them that they only need to do one thing when they write: Make your words jump off the page and dance!

I interviewed Otman on his very first day at EC Cape Town. He has grown in leaps and bounds, not just with his English, but as a person. I’m so proud of him! With his permission, I would like to share what he has written.

Otman Eltalis from Libya
Otman Eltalis from Libya

by Otman Eltalis 

My name: Libya
My nationality: Libyan
My phone number: Libya
My biography: Libya

I am a patient. I am a villager. I am a national. I am a soldier for protect my country. I am peaceful.

I extend my appreciation to my country everyday. It is my mother, my blood, my life. I left because I was forced. I didn’t like homesick, but this is for you. I hope to accept my excuse. I can’t forget when you gave my nationality, happiness. I am proud if I say I am from Libya. Sometimes, people ask me, “What is your dream in your life?”

I just have one answer. I say, “My dream when I see my country the first country in the world. When I see my people living in the security. When I see many scientists there. If I see illiterate 1%.”
I am not frustrated, but when I remembered Japan in 1945, they lost many buildings and people, but now Japan is first world.

If I to speak English, I will fly in the sky, because this isn’t for me.
This is for Libya.

Let me, my teacher, write any word in my mind. I can’t stop to learn English until I see my country happy for me. I know Arabic language is people’s language for paradise, to learn the language of the people of the security of their evil. I wish believe me, my country. It is my mistress. It is before anyone. I will be write, write, write and write.

I hope smell your soil.
I hope send my greeting with the stars.

I miss my country.
I can’t forget it.
This is promise.

Written on Monday, 25 August 2014
Your son, Otman (Libya)
I will keep going…

———————

Otman is an Academic Year English Course Student (AY) student

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