New Year, New Me?

We are all guilty of coming up with resolutions but never fulfilling them. It seems so easy for us to come up with them every year but it is an overpowering challenge to actually keep them up. You know some of us have the  “I’m going to join the gym” or “I will study more often this year” type of aims but spare a moment and think about those whose resolutions might be “I will work more to earn enough money for my family” or most importantly those who have “I will try my best  to get my family to safety”. 2016 was a year filled with mixed emotions: happiness, liveliness, love, pain, sorrow and anger. From Donald Trump winning the elections to David Bowie’s death to Leonardo Dicaprio winning an Oscar, this year was anything but uneventful. Though it was saddening to see all those wonderful stars pass away, we often forget about those in Syria, Palestine, Afghanistan and a lot of other countries suffering from war and poverty. It’s, even more, saddening that the world is well aware of those things but does so little to make a better life for those suffering. 16,000 Syrians were killed in 2016 but did the world care? No. We were too concerned about Kim Kardashian being robbed.

About 21,000 people die everyday, because of hunger but did we do anything about it? No. We were busy trashing the half-eaten McDonalds burger. Around 62 million girls were out of school in 2016, while we were busy complaining about waking up early in the morning.

Instead of coming up with resolutions that are hard to fulfill, how about we come up with plans for donating enough money, food and clothes to countries that are in agony and taking care of refugees that are present in your countries so they could live a better life and their children could have a better future. Come up with plans to reduce the amount of racism, sexism and bullying that happens every single day. No one deserves to die, starve to death or get beaten up without a reason. I say we should take this opportunity and use it to make our world a better place. Make it better for not only you, but for everyone else around you. Leopards, it’s in our hands to make 2017 an even better year not just for ourselves, but for everyone around us. Happy New Year!

Safia Mouzzam. Grade 9, Media Tech club Member


Leopards in Thailand

It is Dreams, not Distance, That Define How Far We Explore

A group of students from ISG-Dammam set off on a trip miles away from home, not knowing that they were about to undergo one of the greatest experiences of their lives; Thailand. While other students on different trips were taken to 5 star hotels and fancy, expensive restaurants, us, the Thai-Leopards, have seen it all. Scratches, bruises, bites, cuts, sickness, tears of fear, and most importantly, tears of hope.  Quotes such as “pushing through our limits” and “leaving our comfort zones” fail to describe how far we’ve gotten.

We battled raw nature face-to-face. Walking deep into the forest for hours, we saw different aspects of the wild life. Animals, plants, trees, fish, insects, you name it! We even did things such as crawling, swimming, and sliding into caves of different sizes and shapes. Each cave had a distinguishable aspect. Wet, slippery caves, caves that have long died, caves with bats, caves with rivers flowing in them. A cave that was so narrow, it triggered phobias inside some of us. Some of bursting in tears, others itching with curiosity. We were taught how to care for one another and how to help each other to overcome all obstacles, literally climbing mountains. We left nothing behind. Kayaking, Crazy Horse rock climbing, trekking, zip-lining, even riding elephants and pickup trucks!  Everything about it was as perfect as a mural in a museum.

When I was in Thailand, I learned so many great things. I learned that not all people are fortunate enough to have a sidewalk to walk on, or a wall to protect them. I learned how much of a pleasure it is to help others. I learned about different cultures, traditions, and morals. But most importantly, I only just discovered the value of the word “thank you”. On our way back from that beautiful place, the only thing my mind kept wondering was how much I was going to miss this green paradise once I’m back in Saudi.

-Mihad Abdulrahman

Edited and Reviewed by Noor Ra’fat (Layout Editor)