New Boys in Town My Life


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New Boys in Town

Documentary following 12-year-old Adel who had to leave his home in Syria three years ago and move to the UK as a refugee.


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Transcript


LineFromTo

You ready?

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Hi. Welcome to my house.

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My name is Adel. Come on in.

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I'm 12 years old and I live in Bristol with my three sisters -

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Sara, Ola and Lylas - and my new baby brother Omar.

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Goal!

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I do everything with my best friend Elijah.

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Oh, my gosh, can I take your picture?

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But that's only half my story.

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I didn't grow up in the UK.

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I was born in Syria.

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I only came to the UK three years ago.

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The war started when I was seven years old

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and my family had to leave our home country.

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I want everyone around the world to know that being a refugee is not

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as easy as it looks.

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It took me a long time to settle here.

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And other refugees are still fleeing the war to Bristol.

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Let's go.

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There must be something I can do...

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Do you know if they speak English?

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..to make them feel a bit more at home.

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-Hello.

-Hi.

-Hello.

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Today is the start of my third summer in the UK.

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This is beans and then this is aubergine.

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We've got watermelons and cheese.

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'When I moved here, it was the biggest thing to happen in my life.

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'In Syria, life was more comfortable but then, when we had to come here,'

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it felt like we kind of had to start from scratch again.

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It's all tangled.

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One thing that helped us was meeting other Syrians in Bristol.

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I like that bracelet.

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'And today, we're all having a big party to celebrate Eid.

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'Everyone gets together.

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'There might be some new refugees

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'because people are still trying to go to a safe country.'

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All my friends, like here, some of them are refugees

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and some of them are not.

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Two or three families come to Bristol from Syria, like,

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every, maybe, five or six months.

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I can remember myself being in their position three years ago

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and I felt anxious.

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These are Badr and Ahmed.

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Ahmed is a bit like me but he's been here only for four months.

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'I feel lucky that I left Syria before it became a war zone,'

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but some people are not quite as lucky.

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Lots of our family is in Syria.

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My nan is in Syria right now and I can't get to her.

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'You're here celebrating, but then there are people back in Syria

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'who are suffering.'

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Syria feels a long way away from here

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and missing family did make it hard to settle.

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We've also moved around a lot since we arrived here.

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I came back through Cardiff and then

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we crossed the bridge, and then we came to Bristol.

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I felt scared because it was totally different from Syria.

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Syria might be somewhere there, going, like, there.

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I can speak the language properly.

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The language wasn't my first language, which is Arabic.

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When people showed me around, it made me feel more welcome.

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'I think there are lots of boys and girls that arrive here, like,

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'every few months, and it would feel good,'

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to help out to someone that's my age, make them feel welcome.

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'I think I should do that.

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'But I can't do it alone.'

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'Tonight, my best friend Elijah has invited me around for a sleepover.'

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I want to ask Elijah if he wants to help me to introduce

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new Syrian refugees to Bristol.

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Now I'm ready.

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No, no, no, no. No, no, no.

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No!

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-Is it alive?

-Yeah!

-You have a go, you have a go.

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'Just like me, Elijah wasn't born here.

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'He is from Canada.

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'When I met Adel, we both came to school on the same day and we were

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'both new students.'

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-Get down, get down!

-No!

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'I can't say I understand how he feels cos I don't,'

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but I'd be fuming if I had to leave

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because of like a war or something.

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Where is it? Oh, there it is.

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There it is. OK.

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-I got it.

-Yay!

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We could potentially never have came here...

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at the same time and could like never have been friends,

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if you think about it. Once you settle in and, like,

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if you enjoy being here, then you think of it as home.

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To me, my true home is Syria.

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Yeah. If you came, like, willingly,

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it would probably be more home to you, but...

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Part of me says, like,

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you should start to call it home because, like,

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you never know when or if the war's ever going to end.

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As soon as I, like, made good friends, like you, I knew I was

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at home.

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So...my plan over the summer is to help, like,

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new Syrian refugees settle in Bristol.

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So would you like to help?

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Yeah, totally, yeah. I feel like...

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That would be really good.

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I should help them with my best friend as much as I can,

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-that would be good.

-Yeah.

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I know a boy, so maybe we could help him out and show him around.

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'It made me feel pretty excited that we were going to do this together

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'and not alone.'

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Because he's my best friend.

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Instructions. Yes! He died.

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I think it's really great that Adel's going to do that for others...

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..because he doesn't have to,

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but he chooses to because he knows what it's like.

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'I think we're going to stay up until, like, I don't know,

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'11 or 12 o'clock.'

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ALARM RINGS

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Ahmed is starting a new life in the UK

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and this is his first summer here.

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-TRANSLATION:

-'We wake up in the morning and remove all our things.

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'In Syria, we had four rooms

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'but here we live in one and can't move around properly.'

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Ahmed's dad used to run a business in Syria,

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but has had to find a new job.

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So, for now, the five of them are living in this small flat.

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-TRANSLATION:

-We do everything in this room.

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'I stay inside all day because

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'I don't know much English or my way around here.

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'We only know two shops.'

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I win.

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Yes! I win.

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Yes!

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When fighting started in Ahmed's hometown,

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life there changed completely.

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-TRANSLATION:

-One of my friends died when a bomb fell

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near a park they were playing in,

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so, after that, we stopped going outside.

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We would count the bombs. Every five seconds, we would hear one.

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When it was bad, we'd hide in the bathroom.

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We even ate in there.

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It was really hard finding food.

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We didn't have enough gas, so it was hard to cook food properly.

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So we had to leave.

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The ball go under the bed and then my brother tried to get it.

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-TRANSLATION:

-We get bored, so we invent new games to play.

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'I would feel better and less scared if I got to know more of Bristol.'

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I remember when Bristol felt strange and new.

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And Ahmed's family aren't the only refugees

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trying to start a new life here.

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My name is Negervan, I'm 12 years old,

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and me and my brother Haider, we love to dance.

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Negervan and Haider only arrived here eight months ago.

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Negervan has just started

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going to my school.

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I've seen him around and we've talked a bit.

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When I came to UK, I didn't know how to speak English.

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In the school, I read 73 books in a whole month.

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I got a prize. I said, "What?"

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I was surprised.

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My parents was really proud of me.

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'I had friends there.

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'We bought a house and were settling in when the war started.'

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-TRANSLATION:

-Our house, it might be destroyed, I don't know.

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I've drawn this plane bombing this house.

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The window is broken.

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When I wake up, I remember the war.

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When I brush my teeth, I remember, and even when I play.

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-TRANSLATION:

-There were lots of soldiers,

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tanks, people were killed and homes were destroyed.

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-TRANSLATION:

-I saw lots of helicopters

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and they were shooting all around us.

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-TRANSLATION:

-I've drawn me and my dad at the airport,

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coming to the UK for a new life and to be happy.

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Starting that new life,

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a new school and making friends hasn't been that easy.

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-TRANSLATION:

-There's a boy at school who told me,

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"Go back to Syria," and I say, "If I do,

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"I will be killed."

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If I had more friends, I'd be happier here.

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It will be interesting to find out

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how Negervan and his brother are getting on

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at school and things like that.

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Oh, yes!

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-Yeah.

-Yay!

-No.

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Oh, so close.

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Oh!

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So how's your English been going?

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-Good. I'm getting better and better.

-Yeah.

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How did you find making friends?

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Hard because they don't let me to play.

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Hmm.

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How did your brother find making friends?

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Hard.

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When I made friends, I felt more settled in the UK.

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-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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More friends like best friends?

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How do you spend your time?

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I spend my time with dancing and...art.

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I draw in my spare time as well.

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Sometimes, there will be this, like, art event.

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-OK.

-And some of my friends are going to come there,

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-so would you like to come?

-Yeah.

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-I'll go.

-And your brother?

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Yeah.

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Would you like to go?

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-Yeah.

-Yes, definitely.

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I love it.

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Thank you, guys.

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-That's OK.

-I'm excited now.

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Yeah.

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-Basketball?

-Yeah.

-Yeah.

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Ahmed has been spending most of his summer inside and he is also facing

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one of the biggest challenges for new arrivals from Syria.

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-TRANSLATION:

-Bristol is new to me

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and I don't speak English,

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'which makes it hard for me to make friends.'

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Back in Syria, Ahmed only spoke Arabic.

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'Suit.'

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"Suit, tie."

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"Suit, tie."

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'Pyjamas.'

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Pyjamas.

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-TRANSLATION:

-'The hardest bit for me is the tenses.'

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And people talk very fast in English.

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'Surf the internet.'

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Surf the internet. Wait.

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-'Surf the internet.'

-Surf the internet.

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-TRANSLATION:

-I'm starting a new school soon and I'm worried that

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I won't understand the lessons or the tests.

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'Classroom.'

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Classroom.

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Chopping board.

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Chopping... Chopping board.

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I will learn English every day and I will improve my English.

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It would be good to meet up with Ahmed soon,

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but first...

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We're heading into town to see Negervan and Haider.

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They might tell us, like, how to actually use the actual camera.

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'We're all going to an art day put on by these guys, Felix and Jack.

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'They do some summer workshops for kids in Bristol.'

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-Hello.

-Hi.

-Hello.

-How are you?

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Hi. My name's Elijah.

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Nice to meet you.

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So are you guys looking forward to today?

0:17:370:17:39

-Yeah.

-We're ready.

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Today, we're learning how to use spray paint.

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There's other people I know here.

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My sister's come and also my Syrian friend Badr.

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Going to get a can of spray paint each and then you're going to have a

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little go on the wall here.

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I can see you're dying to get started.

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The closer you hand is, the thinner the line you're going to get.

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So if you hold it further back...

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you're going to get a thicker line. OK?

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We're really excited to have a go.

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Excellent.

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So it's starting to drip.

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That's it. Brilliant!

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Try doing a curvy line.

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-That's it.

-Perfect.

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Better than mine.

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I just painted Adel's name because he's my best friend.

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That's the basics of spray painting already.

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PAPER SNAPS

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How do you make it?

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PAPER SNAPS

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I'm teaching everybody how to make a boom sound in the paper.

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So you do this, yeah, and then you do that.

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I ripped it!

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It was really fun and it makes a loud noise when you whack the paper.

0:19:010:19:07

Oh, wow!

0:19:070:19:09

Right, so, we're all going to go outside and have a paint

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cos the sun is out and do something

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about friends and making new friends.

0:19:170:19:20

-Yes?

-Can we do it in Arabic?

0:19:200:19:23

Yeah, we can do it in Arabic.

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Yeah.

0:19:250:19:26

-In Somali as well?

-In Somali as well.

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We could say "amigo".

0:19:280:19:30

That's Spanish.

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OK, so it's an international friendship.

0:19:320:19:34

OK, that's brilliant. Let's do that.

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Roughly about here and then we'll blend it in.

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I did a word in Somali.

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It means "friends".

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Maybe get closer, so you can cover these bits.

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It's OK. We're trying to make it a bit better.

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So who's going to do the blue and who's going to do the red?

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Wow!

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Coloured it in like a design. I put blue and then mix into red.

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-Are we finished?

-Yep.

0:20:200:20:23

Yeah, I reckon you guys are nearly done here.

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I'm impressed by the final piece.

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I think it's really good.

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Can I get a high five off all of you, please?

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All along the line. Come on, faster.

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I've never actually met any boys from Syria and I was

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actually kind of laughing and joking with them.

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I would like to meet up with them again.

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I wouldn't really be able to tell

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that they hadn't been here for a while because they really...

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They really seem like it.

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I met Haider today for the first time

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and when he told me, "I'm from Syria..."

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I'm from the same country, so I felt a bit happy.

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I would love to see him again and play with him.

0:21:050:21:07

-I really had fun with you today.

-Me, too.

0:21:090:21:12

-I hope I see you again.

-Me, too.

0:21:120:21:16

-Bye. See you soon.

-Bye.

0:21:160:21:18

I feel so very happy, good...because I have...

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Now I have so many friends.

0:21:280:21:30

So did you guys make friends today?

0:21:310:21:34

-Yeah, so many.

-Yeah.

0:21:340:21:36

It was quite fun.

0:21:360:21:37

It was great to meet you guys.

0:21:370:21:39

-Me, too.

-It will be nice to see you at school again.

0:21:390:21:42

Yeah.

0:21:420:21:43

Maybe we should meet up again.

0:21:430:21:46

-Yeah. Let's go.

-OK.

0:21:460:21:50

Now summer is nearly over, we have just one last thing left to do.

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It's very noisy.

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Yes, and also very flat.

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Be nice to get it pumped up today.

0:22:070:22:09

'We're meeting Ahmed to see if he can get to know the city better.'

0:22:090:22:13

I don't think he has any idea of what's happening,

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so he will be quite surprised when he finds out.

0:22:170:22:21

-Hello, my name's Elijah.

-My name's Ahmed.

-How are you?

0:22:250:22:28

-Fine, how are you?

-Good.

0:22:280:22:30

I know you haven't seen much of Bristol.

0:22:300:22:33

Me and Elijah would really like to show you around but you don't have

0:22:330:22:37

a bike, so we're going to this place here,

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where you can pick out a bike that suits you...

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and then we're going to go on a bike tour.

0:22:450:22:48

-Thank you.

-Are you excited to get a bike?

0:22:480:22:51

-Very, very excited.

-Cool.

-Let's go.

0:22:510:22:53

Hey, guys. How can I help?

0:23:000:23:02

Ahmed's here and he needs a bike because he doesn't have one.

0:23:020:23:06

Dude! Perfect.

0:23:060:23:08

We give out bikes to people who need a bike,

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so I've probably got the perfect bike for you out the back.

0:23:100:23:13

So, Ahmed, what do you think of this?

0:23:170:23:20

The idea here is that you work on it yourself, so you learn some skills.

0:23:200:23:23

-Is that cool with you?

-Yeah.

-Yeah? Excellent.

0:23:230:23:26

Have you ever used a spanner before?

0:23:290:23:31

ADEL TRANSLATES

0:23:330:23:35

-No.

-No? It's going to be fine.

0:23:370:23:39

It's really easy stuff.

0:23:390:23:40

You have used tools before, haven't you?

0:23:420:23:44

All right? So we know your brakes are going to work.

0:23:480:23:50

Do you know how to put a chain on a bike? So around this wheel...

0:23:500:23:54

Yeah. Good work. So that chain now is linked.

0:23:540:23:59

Great stuff.

0:23:590:24:01

'Elijah's fixing that puncture on his bike, too.'

0:24:010:24:04

My hands... Look, my hands are dirty and that is a sign of good work.

0:24:040:24:09

So this is your fast gear.

0:24:160:24:17

That's it.

0:24:170:24:19

Feel the wind off that.

0:24:190:24:21

And now we test the brakes.

0:24:210:24:23

Nice.

0:24:240:24:26

My bike is looking very, very, very nice.

0:24:270:24:29

'I didn't have a bike for a long, long time.'

0:24:290:24:33

Mechanics' handshake.

0:24:330:24:34

Cool! Have a good day, boys.

0:24:360:24:38

-Thank you.

-See you soon, yeah?

-I think, yeah, stage one,

0:24:380:24:42

getting the bike ready and getting all our bikes fixed up was good,

0:24:420:24:45

but I'm really excited to show Ahmed around.

0:24:450:24:48

'Before today, Ahmed spent most of his time inside,

0:24:480:24:52

'so we're going to show him everything.'

0:24:520:24:55

Look at the boat.

0:25:100:25:11

Imagine living on a boat like this.

0:25:130:25:15

Follow me, yeah?

0:25:150:25:17

Stop.

0:25:230:25:24

This boat is awesome.

0:25:260:25:27

-Yeah.

-There's like a look-out as well.

-Yeah.

0:25:270:25:30

-Oh, it's a birthday.

-Yeah.

0:25:310:25:33

-ELIJAH AND AHMED:

-# Happy birthday to you. #

0:25:330:25:36

That's the SS Great Britain over there.

0:25:390:25:41

The boat looks like the...Titanic.

0:25:410:25:45

The Titanic, yeah. It kinda does, actually.

0:25:450:25:47

Oh, look. The river is very, very nice.

0:25:500:25:52

Yeah, it is nice. There's the houses.

0:25:520:25:54

There's the colourful ones.

0:25:540:25:56

The iconic Bristol houses.

0:25:560:25:58

Yeah, they're so cool.

0:25:580:25:59

I like this house.

0:25:590:26:01

This area is very, very nice.

0:26:010:26:04

'We've been riding for hours but we've saved the best for last.'

0:26:050:26:10

-Like it?

-It's very nice.

0:26:260:26:29

It's very, very amazing and nice.

0:26:330:26:36

This is the first time I've seen the bridge and it's amazing.

0:26:360:26:40

'I think Ahmed's had a brilliant day.'

0:26:420:26:44

Wow! Just... How far we've come.

0:26:510:26:54

'I'm very, very happy because I've seen more of Bristol and I feel'

0:26:550:27:00

very exciting because I'm starting

0:27:000:27:03

a new school and I will improve my English.

0:27:030:27:06

'It feels great getting involved, helping people settling in Bristol.

0:27:070:27:13

'I feel like the things I've done made a big difference.'

0:27:130:27:17

'This summer's made me realise that, you know,'

0:27:200:27:23

being a refugee and all that isn't as simple as just hopping on a plane

0:27:230:27:27

and coming over here,

0:27:270:27:29

cos what happens after that

0:27:290:27:31

is really crucial as well and even Adel,

0:27:310:27:33

who's been here a long time.

0:27:330:27:35

Syria will always feel like home.

0:27:380:27:41

One day I will be able to go back to Syria

0:27:420:27:45

because wars can't last forever.

0:27:450:27:47

Wars always end.

0:27:490:27:50

# Oh, I'm coming home. #

0:27:520:27:58

Imagine living in a war zone. You're forced to flee to a foreign country, where you know no one, leaving your family and friends behind. How do you make friends in a new school if can't speak their language? 12-year-old Adel knows exactly how this feels as he had to leave his home in Syria three years ago and move to the UK as a refugee. He's now happily settled here, but this summer he's on a mission with his best friend Elijah to help welcome some new refugees who are struggling to settle in his new home town of Bristol.