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  1. Key Member
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Bosnian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 4,456
    #1

    Freedom, part eight

    Would you please correct the mistakes in the eight part of my text?

    One day I sat in the TV room because I did not know what to do with my time. I watched the doll-like girls who appeared on the screen, and the longing grew inside me. I wished to hold their curvy bodies, tousle their wavy blond hair, and cover their high-boned cheeks with my kisses. I couldn’t believe my luck. I had come to the land of exceptionally beautiful women. They surrounded me everywhere, and soon I was going to make love with many of them.

    As I was slipping deeper into my erotic fantasies, the door opened and a middle-aged man entered. He presented himself as Hakim, social worker. He spoke in English. We shook hands and he asked me where I came from. When I told him, his dark eyes sparkled. “I’m glad you have escaped that terrible war,” he said. “I’ve been watching the reports on TV from the beginning of the conflict, and I feel as if my own homeland is being destroyed. Bosnia seems to be such a beautiful country, like an idyll. In many scenes, I see mountains, hills, pastures and rivers in the background. But in the foreground I see burning houses, corpses without limbs, contorted, blood-covered faces, crying women and children and the endless columns of refugees. How did you manage to survive?”

    He sat beside me, and I described to him what happened in my hometown, avoiding the gruesome details, which I believed could upset his stomach. Hakim was an attentive listener, sighing and shaking his head and close to tears as he heard about the murder and torture of innocent people and the rapes of the well-educated women in a prison camp. As a social worker, he was probably no stranger to human suffering, but what I had told him must have shaken him profoundly. He raked his fingers through his dark hair and stared down at the table for a while before patting me on the shoulder. “I have to go now,” he said, “but I’ll see you again.” As I sat alone, the past I just evoked was so strong and had taken hold of my mind that the beauties on the screen felt worthless. I knew that even the most attractive woman would not make me happy. My loss was great and irreparable.

    The next day I met Hakim again, but this time he related his story to me. He was born in Iraq and, when he was 20 years old, he went to the UK to study. In Cambridge, he met his future wife, a Swedish student, Nadine. His passion for her was so strong that he did not finish his studies but followed her to Sweden. They married and got two children, and Hakim could continue his studies after he had spent some years learning Swedish. Then he got a job as a social worker.
    “Sweden is a strange country,” he said, “rich, but people still behave like poor farmers. They don’t like to see others succeed, especially if you are an immigrant. They will tell themselves that you earned your money only by dishonest means. You are either a heroin dealer or you do not pay your tax. Swedes like those who are mediocre and who do not stand out. As soon as you excel at anything, especially if you are a foreigner, they will give you a hard time.”

    I talked with Hakim on numerous occasions. We both were good listeners and we both wished to exchange our experiences. I did not see him as a social worker, and he did not see me as a refugee. We were two strangers glad to have found each other and were able to talk freely. Every time I met him, I discovered about this country something new, which I could not read in books and tourist brochures. He told me also that after more than 20 years of their marriage, his wife still insisted they paid their bills separately whenever they ate in a restaurant. Although they had two children together and did not have any secrets, Hakim still felt as if Nadine was not his wife, rather as if they were two tenants sharing the same house. He warned me not to marry early and always use condoms during intercourse, because the country was teeming with women whose main goal in life was to get pregnant by naive men who thought with their erected organs instead of thinking with their brains. These crafty women used their babies as an investment, which would give them a chance to live off welfare and enable them to have comfortable leaving.

    Another time Hakim warned me of becoming materialistic. Expensive cars, gold watches, luxurious furniture, the latest gadgets, designer clothes and other ephemeral things were never going to make me satisfied. And if I searched happiness through them, I was never going to find it.
    I did not want to believe in everything what he told me. I thought he had become a bitter man because of his unhappy marriage or some other problems. I told myself he was an Arab and he would never adapt himself to the life in the West no matter how well educated he was. I wanted to persuade myself that I was different and was going to succeed where he had failed. I was convinced that nothing was going to stop me, neither people’s jealously nor their bigotry.
    Not until years later, did I understand how Hakim was right. I would remember his advice on many occasions, and they helped me a lot whenever I was in doubt what to do. I would meet foreigners who got into troubles only because of their naivety and inexperience and who were paying dearly for their mistakes. I would listen to their stories, thinking of Hakim and wishing to meet him again to tell him how right was he, and that I was ashamed of not believing him.

    About 12 years later, I met a young man from Morocco. He asked me my opinion about Sweden. I told him almost the same as Hakim had told me then in the TV room. I noticed that the young man did not like what I told him. He listened to me in silence, but his body language was of disbelief. I understood him and could not blame him. He was newly married to a blond Swedish woman, drove a new car and enjoyed happy life. The next time I met him it was five years later. As soon as he saw me, he came up, shook hands with me and gave me a warm hug. “Man, I am thinking of you every day,” he said. “When I heard you talking about Sweden when we first met I believed you were a madman, but now I have to admit you are right on everything you said.”
    TO BE CONTINUED

  2. teechar's Avatar
    Moderator
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Iraq
      • Current Location:
      • Iraq

    • Join Date: Feb 2015
    • Posts: 7,310
    #2

    Re: Freedom, part eight

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post

    One day I sat in the TV room because I did not know what to do with my time. I watched the doll-like girls who appeared on the screen, and the longing grew inside me. I wished to hold their curvy bodies, tousle their wavy blond hair, and cover their high-boned cheeks with my kisses. I couldn’t believe my luck. I had come to the land of exceptionally beautiful women. They surrounded me were everywhere, and soon I was going to make love with many of them.

    As I was slipping deeper into my erotic fantasies, the door opened and a middle-aged man entered. He presented himself as Hakim, a social worker. He spoke in English. We shook hands, and he asked me where I came from. When I told him, his dark eyes sparkled. “I’m glad you have escaped that terrible war,” he said. “I’ve been watching the reports on TV from the beginning of the conflict, and I feel as if my own homeland is being destroyed. Bosnia seems to be such a beautiful country, like an idyll. In many scenes on TV, I see mountains, hills, pastures and rivers in the background. But in the foreground I see burning houses, corpses without limbs, contorted, blood-covered faces, crying women and children and the endless columns of refugees. How did you manage to survive?”

    He sat beside me, and I described to him what happened in my hometown, avoiding the gruesome details, which I believed could thought would upset him. his stomach. Hakim was an attentive listener, sighing and shaking his head, and he was close to tears as he heard about the murder and torture of innocent people and the rape of the well-educated women in a prison camp. As a social worker, he was probably no stranger to human suffering, but what I had told him must have shaken him profoundly. He raked his fingers through his dark hair and stared down at the table for a while before patting me on the shoulder. “I have to go now,” he said, “but I’ll see you again.” As I sat alone, the past I'd just evoked was so strong and had taken hold of my mind that the beauties on the screen became meaningless. felt worthless. I knew that even the most attractive woman would not make me happy. My loss was great and irreparable.

    The next day I met Hakim again, but this time he related his story to me. He was born in Iraq and, and when he was 20 years old, he went to the UK to study. In Cambridge, he met his future wife, a Swedish student, Nadine. His passion for her was so strong that he did not finish his studies but followed her to Sweden. They married and got two children, and Hakim could managed to continue his studies after he had spent some years learning Swedish. Then he got a job as a social worker.
    “Sweden is a strange country,” he said, “rich, but people still behave like poor farmers. They don’t like to see others succeed, especially if you are an immigrant. They will tell themselves that you earned your money only by dishonest means. You are either a heroin dealer or you do not pay your taxes. Swedes like those who are mediocre and who do not stand out. As soon as you excel at anything, especially if you are a foreigner, they will give you a hard time.”

    I subsequently talked with Hakim on numerous occasions. We both were good listeners and (we) both wished to exchange our experiences. I did not see him as a social worker, and he did not see me as a refugee. We were two strangers glad to have found each other and were able to talk freely. Every time I met him, I discovered about this country something new, which I could not read in books and tourist brochures. He told me also that after more than 20 years of their marriage, his wife still insisted they paid their bills separately whenever they ate in a restaurant. Although they had two children together and did not have any secrets, Hakim still felt as if Nadine was not his wife, rather as if they were two tenants sharing the same house. He warned me not to marry early and to always use condoms during intercourse, because the country was teeming with women whose main goal in life was to get pregnant by naive men who thought with their erect ed organs instead of (thinking) with their brains. These crafty women used their babies as an investment, which would give them a chance to live off welfare and enable them to have comfortable living. leaving.

    Another time, Hakim warned me of becoming materialistic. Expensive cars, gold watches, luxurious furniture, the latest gadgets, designer clothes and other ephemeral such things were never going to make me satisfied. And if I searched expected to get happiness through them, I was never going to find it.

    I did not want to believe in everything what that he told me. I thought he had become a bitter man because of his unhappy marriage or some other problems. I told myself he was an Arab and he would never adapt himself to the life in the West no matter how well educated he was. I wanted to persuade myself that I was different and was going to succeed where he had failed. I was convinced that nothing was going to stop me, neither people’s jealously nor their bigotry.

    Not until years later, did I understand how Hakim was right. I would remember his advice on many occasions, and they that helped me a lot whenever I was in doubt about what to do. I would meet foreigners who got into trouble only because of their naivety and inexperience and who were paying dearly for their mistakes. I would listen to their stories, thinking of Hakim and wishing to meet him again to tell him how right was he, and that I was ashamed of that I had not believed ing him.

    About 12 years later, I met a young man from Morocco. He asked me my opinion about Sweden. I told him almost the same as Hakim had told me then in the TV room. I noticed that the young man did not like what I told him. He listened to me in silence, but his body language was of disbelief. I understood him and could not blame him. He was newly married to a blond Swedish woman, drove a new car and enjoyed a happy life. The next time I met him, it was five years later. As soon as he saw me, he came up, shook hands with me and gave me a warm hug. “Man, I am thinking of you every day,” he said. “When I heard you talking about Sweden when we first met, I believed you were a madman, but now I have to admit you are right on about everything you said.”
    .

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