Based on a true story – By Aaliyah Phung

Lightning struck upon the sea. Forced to migrate to an unknown country.
The fear while clenching onto a taffrail, not knowing if I’ll survive another night at sea.
I was mixing ocean water and flour to survive. Thousands of lives were lost.

Vietnam was my home. I was a well-respected, wealthy Vietnamese successor.
I owned an established restaurant and had everything I’d ever wanted.
Portrayed a king, until everything was taken from me in the war.

My wife and children flung overboard at sea during refuge.
I felt defeated. I was left with nothing. My heart was broken.
The ship docked at Israel and I had a new chance at life in Televiv.

One foot in front of the other, trusting that there’s a purpose behind my challenges.
Working long hours as a chef, a pretty waitress caught my eye.
I put a ring on her finger. My heart was reunified.

Happiness struck me. I was a father again.
Life was improving, but war tragically followed me
I took the opportunity to migrate to Australia, to give me and my family a better future.

I’m now a happy and grateful 72-year-old, with grandchildren to carry on my name.
Proud of what I can conquer. No matter how many times I’ve fallen, I’ve only gotten stronger.

FOLLOW US was established in 1997, and since then we have successfully completed numerous short story and poetry competitions and publications.
We receive an overwhelming positive feedback each year from the teachers, parents and students who have involvement in these competitions and publications, and we will continue to strive to attain this level of excellence with each competition we hold.


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