Posts Tagged ‘understanding’



This October, Australia’s largest performing writers program, Word Travels’ Story Fest, is taking on the international conversation surrounding refugees. For most Australians it is impossible to understand what it is like to have to flee your home country, blinded to what the future may hold.

Through the power of creative writing, Story Fest provides a voice to those who have transformed their challenges into influential stories, and is a platform to discuss past experiences with passion, vulnerability and raw authenticity.

The weekend extravaganza will consist of multiple poetry slams, forums, discussions and a special event entitled Writing Through Fences, which will open the Australian Poetry Slam National Final at the Sydney Opera House.
Featuring three refugee poets who sought asylum in Australia, Writing Through Fences is sure to spark heartfelt discussion among the audience and other competing poets. “You will hear from people who have travelled through the darkest places in the human psyche and have found poetry to guide them to sunlight,” said Creative Director of Word Travels, Miles Merrill.

Hani Aden is a Somali writer, who wrote from Christmas Island where she was held for 13 months. During her time in detention, Aden reached to poetry as an outlet to express her emotion and pain. “I thought expressing myself through the power of poetry and storytelling was the only way many of us could walk free in this land,” she explained. Aden is performing alongside Yarrie Bangura, a young refugee, who as a child fled civil war in Sierra Leone; and Kaveh Arya, who fled Iran and became a refugee in Turkey, until he and his family migrated to Australia in 1995.

While all three poets grew up surrounded by war and danger, they agree that by sharing their stories they are bringing to light the social and cultural issues that surround refugees and seeking asylum.

“I want to let many people know seeking asylum is not a crime,” said Aden. “Together we can make change because [it is] kindness [that will] keep the world afloat.”

“I think that’s a constructive way of drawing attention to a real problem, to a real situation which we are faced with in the world, as you know, the refugee crisis is evermore alive now,” said Kaveh Arya.

Arya grew up reading from one of the only books his parents kept – a book of poems. “It was one of the only books, that they kept, that I could actually read and sort of connect to, so I started reading that book at a young age and I fell in love with poetry that way,” he explained.

In his work, poetry is an afterthought. Instead Kaveh chooses to focus on his life experiences as the primary objective, which provide a unique and effective contribution to the international conversation surrounding human rights and refugees.

As a child, Yarrie Bangura fled from her home in Sierra Leone to Guinea, where she lived in a refugee camp with her family before migrating to Australia in 2004. For Yarrie, writing best expressed her pain and enabled her to escape all the terrible things from her past. “I felt like I always had to talk about my pain,” she explained. “I had to find another way to express my pain, which was through music and creative writing – poetry.”

Bangura writes short autobiographical poems and stories, and is one half of the band Sierra Sisters, whose music has featured on several commercials and Triple J Unearthed. Her work reflects the terrifying experiences that haunt her past, and bring to light the issues that many refugees are facing today.

“I never thought that it would get to that length, that people would be interested,” said Bangura. “I was doing it because it made me feel good and it was letting out and chucking away the things that I don’t want to remember anymore in my life – or at least I don’t want to deal with.”

Writing Through Fences is opening the Australian Poetry Slam National Final, one of the most anticipated events in Sydney’s literary and performance calendar. Over the weekend, 20 of Australia’s finest poets will speak, scream, whisper and shout their way to being crowned Australian Poetry Slam Champion.

The Story Fest will also include children’s activities ranging from workshops and events in which they will learn the art of creative writing.

Word Travels’ Story Fest, and Writing Through Fences in particular, is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to immerse yourself in eye-opening and inspirational, truth-telling tales. The festival will provide a new perspective of life, and the ongoing, international issues surrounding refugees. (NB)

Oct 9–11. Info:

Oct 9, 8pm. Sydney Dance Lounge, Pier 4/5, Hickson Rd, Sydney. $30+b.f.


City Hub’s pick of the festival:
Oct 11, 7pm. Drama Theatre, Sydney Opera House. $36-$44+b.f. Tickets:

Follow Kaveh Arya at:


Dr Dimitri Karalis

In my early youth, I became aware of the effect of thinking upon human destiny. I was wondering though, why parents, schools and societies were not aware of this vital issue. How is it possible I was asking myself, such a conspicuous effect of the mind upon our life to remain entirely unnoticeable?

Nothing in life arrives by luck or accident without first being planted by our own thoughts and deeds? Wealth, poverty, happiness, unhappiness, success, failure and what else, are all part of our thinking process. We become what our thoughts and deeds are -and harvesting exactly what we have planted there. Good luck, co-incidence and external opportunities for success in life, are only random voices of ignorance and superstition. They resemble the hooting of the owls in the night, which only the daylight will calm and silence.

Little knowledge makes man dogmatic, superstitious and intolerant towards others. It closes his mind from any light, like the sea oysters do. Advance self-awareness though, opens the mind and brings wisdom, calm and tolerance towards all others. It understands the ever-present cosmic law around us, which respects and corporates like an inner sacrament. Deeper self-knowledge clears and brightens the spiritual horizons for soul’s eyes to wonder a little further.

The human destiny as I said before is the result of personal thoughts and deeds. We are the sum of our inner thinking and personal actions. Each human face represents its thoughts and deeds in life. Confusion of character diagnosis is very rare, not even from blind humans. We single out the refine, sincere and disciplined characters, from the unrefined and undisciplined ones, like the partridges from the night bats. We are the architects of our future destiny, so no one is to blame or praise for our present fate but ourselves.

We progress in life with the cosmic accurate law and not by pseudo-technical tricks. “Every physical and mental deed has its rewards and punishments accordingly”, said Oscar Wilde.

Success, fame and prosperity, are the sum of many little good deeds, like the countless little unnoticeable night stars that makes up the luminous Milky Way. Failures to succeed in life are the accumulation of many selfish thoughts and deeds that extinguish any luminous achievement. We are wasting our time and effort in trying to pretend and hide the dirty tricks in life. They ripen slowly by themselves and appear wide open one day with the strong voice of thunder. The whole world has to hear and know what we did in our secret chambers. A few examples here I think are essential.


  1. Animalistic thoughts usually crystallize in to sensuality, alcoholism and coarseness, which lead to insecurity, fear and unhappiness.
  2. Selfish thoughts, waste nerve energy and the loss of trust from society.
  3. Doubts fear and indecision crystallize in cowardly and unmanly behaviour, which ends in failure to succeed in life.
  4. Laziness and gluttony, leads to unclean physical habit that ends up in disease and intolerance towards others.
  5. Hate, blame, jealousy, criticism and sycophantic thoughts, lead to hostility, loneliness and to court of justice many times.
  6. Egocentric thoughts lead to a habit of grabbing and loneliness, which builds the repulsive face like a vampire eventually.


  1. Pure thoughts lead to temperance and self-control that ends up with mental and spiritual tranquillity.
  2. Courageous, confidant and decisive thoughts, lead to initiative, leadership, trust and economic independence.
  3. Physical and mental activity leads to physical and mental health with creativeness and economic prosperity as compensation from it.
  4. Calmness, un-peevishness and forgiveness bring refinement of character and love and protection from the public.
  5. Loving and compassionate thoughts, lead to family and social harmony, which ends in enviable happiness and prosperity.
  6. Openness, progressive thoughts and tolerance for others, leads to intellectual and spiritual blooms that the world loves and admires everlastingly.

The cosmic wheel turns and writes uninterrupted and without a single omission. All our deeds and thoughts have been stored in its mental soil that we will harvest definitely someday. They are written with flaming words upon the door of eternity. Nobody can deny them; non-can remove and nobody can escape. He, who put his hands in the flaming fire, will pay always with burning skin. The same exactly happens with our thoughts and deeds. Hate, jealousy, envy, revenge, fear, sycophancy, and all other selfish deeds, are fires that BURN.

I hope someday; parents, schools and societies, will become aware about this vital truth and teach their offspring as soon as possible. Sooner than the alphabet, I would rather say. Only then and not sooner will we feel safer as a community, with less need for police protection, costly armies, courts of justice, prisons of embarrassment and the poverty at our doorstep; Poverty that tortures and agonises three fifths of our planet for centuries now.

Dr Dimitri Karalis
Hermanus –South Africa