The 2019 debates are happening March 25-28, 2019 and will be hosted by Ali Hassan.
About Winnie Yeung
Winnie Yeung is an English teacher from Edmonton, Alta. She published her first book, Homes, with Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, in 2018. The book is an account of al Rabeeah's experience as a young boy in Syria during the civil war and his family's journey to safety in Canada.
Homes was a finalist for the 2018 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction.
- Abu Bakr al Rabeeah, teenage refugee from Syria, tells his story with help from his teacher Winnie Yeung
- Syrian refugee and his ESL teacher turn writing exercise into literary nomination
- Edmonton teacher helps refugee tell his story
"As a teacher I ask my students to write so much and I forget that it's an exercise in vulnerability. You're putting yourself out there. For me, I had to push through my own fears and insecurities about writing just so that I get through it and literally hand the pages over to Abu Bakr.
The best gift that we can give to anyone who's going through any kind of trauma, big or small, just to listen.- Winnie Yeung
"The thing that I learned the most is just to push through those scary insecure parts in writing. Listening became the thing that I had to learn how to do in terms of trying to listen without my own preconceived notions getting in the way — that was big. As a teacher especially, we're so used to jumping in and offering comfort or offering advice. To be able to just sit back and be quiet and let Abu Bakr tell the story that he needed to, that was hard for me to do. Now I'm realizing that is the best gift that we can give to anyone who's going through any kind of trauma, big or small, just to listen."