The world is a little darker without you in it. A little duller. Your laugh no longer bounces off the walls of the house. Your arms no longer gather me into a hug when I walk through the door. Your smile doesn't greet me as I come up the drive.
Today you may see someone with a learning disability on posters, TV adverts on in newspapers and magazines. I hope this is our chance for the public to really understand what a learning disability is, that we're not defined by our disability and for us to have a real voice in society.
The one piece of advice I can give to anyone who has been adopted, is to be proud. Proud to be where you are today, to have been saved from that horrible beginning of your life, proud of how brave the people who took you in were, and ignore all the ridiculous comments of people who are too closed-minded to understand all of this.
Durham is my home now, just like Istanbul was before, and Aleppo before that, I don't know where my journey will take me next but I just hope that when I return to Syria I will be able to contribute to a brighter future.
I feel that ADHD is one of the top most stigmatised mental health and learning disabilities. People just don't know the seriousness of it and many even believe it's a myth or an excuse. It's just a simple lack of knowledge on the condition which why I wanted to share a little abstract of my experience today. I'm not Lazy, I'm not crazy and I'm not stupid. I have ADHD and with the right treatment or support I will succeed in life.
But why do we want to impress each other on social media? Why post as many travel photos online as possible? What are the benefits of this 'lightening travel' that sees people going to 14 foreign towns in as many days?
There is an age-old cliché that students are the leaders of tomorrow, yet too many student leaders are now part of a problem which has left thousands of Jewish students without any trust in the organisation which is supposed to represent them on a national level. When the seriousness of antisemitism is trivialised in this way by those at the top of a movement, we should worry about the direction in which our society is heading.
In recent months I have both graduated from university and turned the ripe old age of 23. By juggling a retail job, freelance work and the occasional unpaid personal project, I scramble through most of my days searching for the sweet relief of feeling "Wow...I really have my shit together!", before I pat myself on the back and give a double thumbs up to an invisible camera. But that feeling never seems to come.
The three debates reflected a microcosm of American media - frame a narrow spectrum to them all their lives, and people will rarely think outside of it. Ask yourself this, especially if you will vote on November 8th - does America need a new brand of alt right nationalism? A rise in anger towards the immigrants who only work to benefit the countries that house them? Or does it need more of the same? More flawed foreign policy, more bowing to the corporate and banking worlds?
As a Jewish student who has experienced online anti-Semitic abuse, the urgency of the report initially seemed comforting, a call for all those fighting against racism to stand united. Reading the report however, I was dismayed to detect severe shortcomings and underlying bias.
Would anyone make jumpers mocking, as one consumer pointed out, physical illnesses such as cancer? Or would anyone make jumpers mocking other, 'more serious' mental health illnesses such as schizophrenia or anorexia? The fact is, no one illness is more serious than another in itself, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder can be just as deadly as any other mental or physical illness. Let me tell you why.
The majority of this strategy is aimed at the Muslim community. It has an alienating effect of a community already experiencing discrimination and rising hate crime. In the past, it would have been others and who knows who it might be used against in future. It is all entirely counter-productive. There is no evidence that it has prevented anything. It is time for a major review of the strategy and a fundamental rethink by Government.
When I first heard archaeology was to be scrapped at A-Level I was not only surprised, but devastated. This is a subject that teaches our students about what it is to be human. We learn about the material culture left by our ancestors from all over the world. We discuss the concepts of culture, politics, art, identity and we do so with an open mind. Even after several years of teaching the A-Level I still find new material that keeps me in awe.