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Coming to Australia at the age of 7 with her family as a refugee, Sumaya and her family were settled in the suburb of Brighton East, a predominantly Caucasian suburb. She started at a nearby primary school, the only English she knew having learnt from Sesame Street. She was bullied and ostracized for being different, the language barrier hindering her from being able to fit in. In 2001, after the 9/11 attacks, her parents moved her and her brothers to a private Islamic school, they could not afford, in fear that she would go through islamophobic comments or attacks. Her experiences caused her to develop social anxiety and a diminished self-worth which she did not know about until into her mid-20s.
Zoom and Skype.
Approximately one in four Year 4 to Year 9 Australian students (25%) reported being bullied every few weeks (or even more frequently) in a national study in 2009. The bullying and ostracism Sumaya endured as a 7 year-old led to social anxiety. Sumaya will talk about how she survived bullying, anxiety and exclusion and prospered […]
Most girls growing up have body image issues, a lot of which are centred on either a facial feature or weight. For women of colour, that includes skin colour and hair.. Growing up in a predominantly white neighbourhood, Sumaya faced this issue with her hair. Hating that it wasn’t the same soft and straight texture […]
Many people think once a refugee has arrived and is settled, things are easy for them now. The fight is over. However, that could not be more wrong. A new fight begins. One of learning a new language, observing fear and distrust from the people around you and in turn having the same fears and […]