sexta-feira, 22 de março de 2013



I am different and so are you
But that’s no reason to be cruel
Why are humans filled with hate
That only helps creating pain
I lost myself without a trace
I’ve been stolen and sold away
Changed for money, treated with rage
Trying to hide my face, locked in a cage
Working all day, beaten all night
Feeling hopeless and wanting to die
I look around, all that I can see
Children screaming, wishing they were free
There’re so many kids like me in here
And it’s hard to see them holding their tears
This is no life for children like us
We should be playing, going to school on a bus
I think about my family and I wish upon a star
That they are doing well and I hope they’re not so far
Cause I still believe that one day they’ll find me
And I’ll be safe and sound with love around me
That’s the only thing that keeps me from breaking
The only reason to smile, a feeling I’m not faking
But then I see what’s real and I’m afraid of tomorrow
Cause everything I can feel Is only pain and sorrow
Cause I can’t go another day locked In this cage
Looking at the sky and slowly losing my name.


terça-feira, 9 de outubro de 2012

That’s It! C’est ça!

Mais um ano, mais um sucesso!
Foi com muito empenho e com a preciosa ajuda dos nossos meninos e meninas, que conseguimos, pelo segundo ano consecutivo, ultrapassar a fasquia dos 500€ no nosso Chez Speaker’s Corner. Perceber que podemos contribuir para ajudar os que mais precisam, enche-nos a todos de alegria.
Parabéns a todos e no próximo ano lá estaremos mais uma vez. J

segunda-feira, 2 de maio de 2011

Cantinho das Línguas_FestaComunidadeEducativa_2011

Angariámos 500€ para a Campanha de reconstrução da escola de Talca (Chile), destruída pelo terramoto.
A todos os que ajudaram, thank you, merci, obrigado!
Para o ano lá estaremos novamente.  

sexta-feira, 11 de fevereiro de 2011

Modern war life [Human Rights: writing a Profile based on pictures]

Hyra Rabbat was born on Christmas day, 2003, in Jerusalem. When she was three years old, her  parents were caught in crossfire in the outskirts of the city.
Since her parents’ death, she lives in a refugee camp with her older brother, Daniel, who has recently entered the Mossad.
At the refugee camp, she is learning English because, up to now she only spoke Yiddish, due to her family.
Seven years old are known to be happy and careless, but Hyra is growing up in the midst of a raging war and needs to strive for survival every day, so she is much more sullen than the average kid of her age. However, she dreams, like any other child: as she needs to deal with sickness and warlike injuries at the camp, she dreams of being a doctor in the USA and owing her own place.  But her wildest dream is to have a yellow bicycle and a pair of pink heels.
Hyra attends to school at the refugee camp everyday and likes playing with bullet’s shelves and old guns at the junkyard near the camp, were this picture was taken.
Being a Jew means that you need to go regularly to the synagogue and Hyra goes there every day, to pray for a better life.The camp’s staff told us that if Hyra keeps on studying, she will go to college and (who knows) maybe she will have a better life...
João Ramalho e Miguel Dias [12º1A] 

The Black Spot [Human Rights: writing a Profile based on pictures]

Sahar is an apparently yielded and regular Iranian house wife. Caught in an early marriage with a man three times her age, she tried to stall but with her parents came the final decision. Thus, her choice was only to beckon such a rotting relationship.

She dwells in a small town near Tehran. Teal-green house, two floors, terrace… the typical building layout of an ordinary Arabian house.
Flustered, she only wishes to follow her dreams, dreams hidden beneath the burka.  Dreams that are so hard for her culture to fathom that she fears, constantly, for her life. Doubted with a gleaming talent for music and tune mixing, despite her scarce education, she argues daily wit Abdul, her bellowing husband.
 In truth, she wants to come to the United States to become a professional DJ. Although sagely following her mate`s orders, she is much more than meets the eye. More than all the cleaning, the cooking and the ironing… Her passion exceeds all boundaries when it comes to Disco Music and Break dance. Many advices are given to her from all her foreign contacts regarding her music, contacts that she must hide from all her community.
Abdul has another wife, though, Sairah. She was his first, aged forty-five… benefits of the Muslim polygamy.  What Abdul didn’t unravel yet is the intimate relationship between his two wives or else he would doggedly send both to death by stoning. Homosexuality is by far one of the highest heresies in Iran. Sairah promises Sahar that she would go with her to the States, follow her anywhere to pursue her dreams but, deep inside, the last knows that the eldest would never have the courage to run away and start over.
Such a character should have never been born in an extremist Arabic country. Such a woman should have never been born, sixteen years ago, on October 30th, as the dusk fell over the Iranian desert.

Pedro Carneiro, Miguel Andrade, Gonçalo Parracho [12º1B] e Tomás Silveira [12º1A]

The Life and Times of Miriam Ben-Maliki [Human Rights: writing a Profile based on pictures]

Miriam is a 50 year old Iranian suffragette. She was born on March 8th 1960, in London, the only daughter of Ali Ben-Maliki, Persian ambassador to the United Kingdom. When she was nineteen, the Iranian Revolution took place and the Persian Shah was dethroned. Her father, alongside many supporters of the old regime, was imprisoned and, later on, executed.
At the time she was studying Law at Persepolis University but was forbidden from continuing her studies, like every other female student. She ran away to the US, where she finished Law School at Princeton University. As soon as she had her degree, she started rallying support for a civil rights movement in Iran. Despite a few lasting relationships along the years, she never married, because she felt that bowing to a husband would compromise her beliefs and activism.
She speaks fluent English and French, as a result of her “western education”, as well as home-learnt Iranian. She loves reading and is a very cultured person, but her activism takes up most of her time. Even though her taste is highly westernized, she still feels a strong connection with her Islamic heritage. She no longer has faith in Islam, or any other religion for that matter, since she is now an atheist. When it comes to art, literature or music, she is a great appreciator and only dislikes the more commercial forms of them, finding them devoid of feeling.
She was once told that women would never vote in Iran. Never had she heard a more chauvinistic statement. As such, she made it her life purpose , her personal goal, to do everything within her reach to ensure that Iranian women would be granted that right.
So she went to Iran, where she had not been to in 30 odd years and started her campaign. The police warned her that, unless she ceased all her efforts, she would be punished. She remained strong in her belief and is presently being buried alive as a form of punishment.

Francisco Neves [12º5B] e Pedro Sacadura-Botte [12º1A]

What can I do? Plenty sister! [Human Rights: writing a Profile based on pictures]

Her name is Tracy and she is twenty five. She was born is 1918, an American woman that speaks no other language than the American itself.
She is engaged to Leonard, who is a hard working man that went to the war to fight the Japanese, with the promise of his return. Before the war, Tracy was a telephonist, but now she’s working in a factory. When this woman is not in her job schedule, she likes cooking, listening to the radio and sending letters to her fiancé. Once Tracy is not married yet, she lives with her parents. A pray is said by Tracy every single night as for she is a catholic. In spite of her strict education, she is very though and fights for what she believes in.
One day she will become the first female president of the United States. At least she hopes so.

Beatriz Ribeiro, Francisca Correia e Madalena Cruz [12º1B]

Wheel Gator [Human Rights: writing a Profile based on pictures]

Henry Jackson Rosebud, also known as “Wheel Gator”, was born somewhere between 1870 and 1875, in New Orleans. His father was from South Dakota and his mother from La Paz, in Bolivia, and was illegaly deported for mine working. Both of them have only this biographical information. Henry spoke English with a Spanish accent; even with a caucasian body, he had indian skin.
In a place where nobody but rich white people had rights, Henry built his own house with every material he could find, from blocks of wood, to piles of ferryboat junk; and even with rattlesnakes and snapping turtles sleeping on his couch, he liked the little home he had made.
One day, the mayor of New Orleans was found dead, and his right arm, Jeremy Osmond, blamed the non-native people for killing him, so at least half of the city's non-native inhabitants were arrested, except for Henry. The community decided to hold new elections for a new mayor. Jeremy Osmond nominated himself, and proclaimed that if he were the new mayor, the policy would be the same, but with some exceptions; the other candidate was Oliver Graham Owl, who defended that every human being should have rights. Henry voted for Mr. Owl, but in 30 thousand inhabitants, 25 thousand voted for Osmond. 
On the day of the commemoration, Osmond and his friends had a party on his private ferryboat, but Henry, along with Mr. Owl and a couple of immigrants went to the ferryboat and ordered them to stop the party, to announce who was the guilty of the previous mayor: Osmond.
Mr. Owl had found a glass of arsenic on the mayor's yard, proving that he had been poisoned. Owl's helpers tried to attack Osmond, but his guards attacked them, thus giving place to a big fight on the boat. Henry found an opportunity to attack Osmond, so he pushed him to the ferryboat's turbins, the mayor fell onto the river, and the alligators finished the job, but at the same time, a helper of Osmond’s  headshot him.
The following day was a happy and a sad one. In the morning, a new mayor was elected and everybody on the town was commemorating; in the evening, a funeral happened, dedicated to Henry Jackson Rosebud, who won the nickname “Wheel Gator”, for being the bravest one on the  21st  January 1908.

António Alves [12º5B]

Carlos Saint-Anne [Human Rights: writing a Profile based on pictures]

Carlos Saint-Anne, aged fifty, was born in Mexico and currently resides in Europa as he likes to say.
He is considered to be a multi-dimensional warrior since he has been involved, through time, in a supernatural war through the fire and flames between Man and Evil Dragon Forces.
Carlos endured a severe education whilst at his home planet of Neptune Valley (which is only thirty seconds away from Mars) hence his vast fluency in all Earthly languages, among others.
Despite being a lady´s man, he can´t commit himself to a serious relationship, not only due to his super heroic nature but also because he could jeopardize those he loved.
However, the appearance of a black female gypsy on his life makes it really hard to cope with both lives.
The Evil Dragon Forces found out his relationship with the female gipsy and possessed her so she got pregnant from that evil entity.
Carlos never found out about this nor did he know that the child the female gypsy would give birth to was his son, Jimi the evil monstrous voodoo child. Nevertheless, he had sworn to the metal gods to end with the Evil Dragon Force Dynasty with the power of Samba for them.
Carl Saint-Anne has always emerged from this supernatural wars as an unquestionable champion, mainly due to an encounter he had had while crossing Rua Direita in Cascais where, after experiencing a stone-freeing pain in his knee, he noticed that the young boy who was cleaning his buddy guy´s shoes was the descendent of the Evil Dragon Force Dynasty, Jimi the evil monstrous Voodoo Child – this resulted in a colossal battle between father and his sweet child that changed his life completely. 

André Pinho [12º1A], Miguel La Feria [12º1B], [12º1A]

Story of a Nobody [Human Rights: writing a Profile based on pictures]

My name is Abigail. My life began in the first day of 1937. When I first opened my eyes to this strange new world, I was shocked by the way people used women. I remember asking my mom why we were treated this way. As soon as I asked it, I saw her eyes getting flooded by thick sad tears as she said: “That’s just the way it is, princess.”
In 1942 I started my studies. The truth is I didn’t study like the boys did, for I was born with the curse of being a woman. I had to be taught by my mom, hidden from my father.  But soon my life turned into a burning hell. As my body started to mature, I noticed my dad started to look at me in a different way. A strange way. A disturbing way.
But if only his looks were my biggest problem… After a few months of a horrifying tension, he did it. I knew this would happen, I could see it coming, but there was nothing I could do… He raped me just about every day, day after day.
My youth was lived in a constant deep sadness. Inevitably, by the time I was 21, all that sadness turned into madness. I was sick of being nothing but my father’s personal cooker, house maid, escape goat and well… his sex slave. I simply could not take one more day of being used and abused.
So in that morning, his food was “accidentally” poisoned, and he passed away that afternoon while he was working. His funeral was attended by 30 men, but only 2 women: me and my mom. As we couldn’t hold back the tears, his friends came to comfort us. What they didn’t know was that these were tears of joy.
Once me and my mom found ourselves alone, we had to deal with one big problem: money. The first two months were hard to live. My mother was very old at that time, so she couldn’t work, and I was having a terrible experience finding a job. I finally started to work as a cleaning maid, in a car factory. The money I could save at the end of the month was usually around 2 dollars but still. I remember thinking about how much my life quality had increased.
Soon my co-workers noticed I was surprisingly good at leading the cleaning team. This surprised me as much as it surprised them! Shortly after, my chief retired, and invited me to take his place bossing the cleaning department. I was glad to accept this. New job, more money!
This means in 2 years time I was able to buy a new place to live in, together with my mom. I felt happy from the moment I realised I had managed to build my life with my own hands even though I knew there was a certain luck factor involved.
It was for all the women who do not have that luck factor and therefore are still enslaved of the fact that they are women that me and my mom created a movement to promote women’s rights.
I believe nobody should be treated different. I believe everybody deserves an opportunity. And I believe you too can have a better life. Even if you’re a woman.

Miguel Santos [12º1A]

The Mask [Human Rights: writing a Profile based on pictures]

Thereʼs a man at the bar, drinking whisky.
He looks smart and sophisticated. His name is Julio and heʼs a Spanish 31 year old man. However, heʼs not what he seems to be: behind the “mask”, he is a sexual pervert about to kidnap the 19 year old girl standing beside him.
Actually, he is a famous serial killer who has already killed three girls and signs his crimes under the code “the masked man”. Meanwhile, his Italian wife is at home with their children, a 17 year old boy and a 6 year old girl, thinking Julio is in a work conference. He is a very busy man due to the fact that heʼs also an ambassador here in Brussels. For that reason, he speaks many languages:  Spanish, English, French and even Japanese. Before coming to this country, Julio studied for six long years in Cambridge University, London. His passion for golfing was discovered there - if he hadnʼt gone to England, maybe his favourite hobbies would still be sailing and fishing in the Mediterranean seas. Though his parents are catholic, Julio doesnʼt believe in any god: he just thinks too much of himself for that.

Itʼs getting late and the girl says sheʼs going to call a taxi. The masked man politely offers her a ride home. The two exit the bar.

The next day, another murder will be announced on the news. People will change channel - because watching the news nowadays is just too depressing -, and carry on with their lives. The girl will never breathe again and Julio will arrive home with a smile on his face, ready to hug his children.

Carlota Caldeira [12º5B] e Marta Taborda [12º1A]  

quinta-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2011

- In Defence of Human Rights -



Child Labour

Young workers

During the Industrial Revolution period, many factory owners believed that the only way they could make a            
profit was to work the mill-hands for long hours and pay them very low 
Charles Dickens, the famous writer who campaigned to stop the use of boys as chimney sweeps, described this industrial life in such a vivid way that we can easily imagine ourselves living in those days.
After reading Dickens' s text, Coketown, from his well-known book, Hard Times, students were asked to picture themselves as one of the workers, from one of those factories, and describe their day: 

17th January 1789
I can barely write today. My hands are so wounded and deeply hurt that I can hardly grab the pencil. However, as I promised mom to write everyday, I’ll do it.
Today is my 11th birthday. It wasn’t a very special day; actually, it was a very ordinary one. I heard some “happy birthday” but not very enthusiastic ones… Still, I was able to make it through today a bit easier.
I have lost the sense of time. I can only tell the day went by because it is time to have lunch (if you can call it lunch!). Due to the smoke and pollution, I haven’t seen the sunlight for three days.
At the very end of the day, as I walk home from the mill, I feel nothing. My head is almost exploding because of the weakness I feel. My hands and arms are warm and hurt by the strength I had to use today. My back is curved because I can’t stand straight. My stomach is aching because there’s been nothing in it for a long time. My legs are numb because of the long distance I have walked today. My mind is sad and helpless as one thought crosses my mind:
“How will anyone be happy living like this?”

by Marta Sassetti, 12º5A

Dear Diary,
I´m stuck in here and I wouldn´t mind the fact of everyday being like one another if those days were exciting. I wouldn´t mind to live here if everyone weren´t so unhappy and boring.
People say our town has the colours of a savage face... Oh, I would give the world to be that savage right now. Run out of here, live free in the jungle, have the excitement of discovering the new land and see the mountains through my cabin. I could have a river in my backyard and the blue sky as a roof. What a wonderful world!
But here I am, dreaming again, late for work again, stuck in the factory so that others can have money and achieve success, producing things I will never be able to buy...
Black and red is all I see, and yet I know the globe is full of other colours...
Maybe I´ll run, maybe I´ll live my own dream or maybe I´ll live here until the last day of my life with no hope and no expectations.

by Catarina Araújo, 12º2

Just got home from another full working day…
I looked in the mirror and asked why? Why me? Why am I not the rich one? Then I stopped. Oh, I’m really going crazy! Never mind … back to the beginning.
Another day at work with the same old problems. I just can’t do that job anymore. When I think of my work place, what comes to my mind is the filthy smoke filling up my lungs as if I’m being chocked. Furthermore the strident sound of the machines which my ears can hear no more or they will be unwilling to hear by the end of the week. All I can see is my money and health going down the drains with this job.
I do the same work for six days, in the same place, at the same time. On Sunday, I’m lucky! Although God said it was a day to rest, he thought I was too special to do so, and so it was. Every Sunday, I drive my boss to church so that he can clean all of his sins even though he will never be able to clear all of them due to their high number.
What a fortunate life I have! Don’t you think?

by Constança Azevedo Gomes, 12º2

terça-feira, 18 de janeiro de 2011

Quoting from the classroom - On Human Rights [12º1A, 1B and 5B]

* "There is a lot to gain from diversity. However, many times racism begins in the craddle.", by Pedro Botte 

* "For every human right, there should be a human duty.", by Miguel Santos

* We all have our own God." by Miguel Machado

* "Education is not about knowing who the first president of the USA was. It is the way of growing which teaches us to fight for what we want when we grow up.", by Miguel La Féria

* "Religion, from a certain perspective, is our way to communicate with other people.", by Madalena Espírito Santo

* "Only God is divine, the Church is human.", by Pedro Botte  

* "Freedom of speech doesn't mean you can say whatever you want to whoever you choose. There is a difference between freedom of speech and invading one's privacy..." by Miguel Santos

[7th-18th January 2011]

domingo, 16 de janeiro de 2011

"The advantages and drawbacks of dating Natasha and Dimitri (considering you don’t speak Russian and they don’t speak English)" - by 12º1A, 1B and 5B [discursive writing]



     Dating Russian women is a subject that has always inspired much controversy throughout the modern world. There is a lot of speculation whether the Russian female has enough qualifications in order to be classified as “datable” or, as some experts might claim, hot.
Several studies have been conducted concerning one of our hypothetical “datable” Russian female subjects, whom we will refer to by the use of a codename – Natasha.
     One of the main studies allows us to conclude that Natasha is very “visually appealing” by Western standards, as we can state through careful observation of her Facebook profile photo. As most experts realized though, the Facebook can be very deceiving; Natasha turned out to have the most beautiful face, nevertheless the same could not be said about her huge, enormous, never-before-seen obese body.
     In contrast to her body features, Natasha is known to have been gifted with an extremely extraordinary and magnificent voice, often compared to the chant of the most bellissima of all mermaids. However, this is all that can be said about her speaking ability, since one is not able to understand a word coming from her mouth.
     Despite all of these physical attributes, she can be considered a loving lady, due to the fact that according to these studies Natasha is someone whose taste for food, cinema, fashion and specially music is abnormal. Balalaika sonnets by her potential candidates are among her personal favourites, as long as the D# note is not played during a sonnet; this is the main catch these candidates must be careful with, otherwise the probability of getting smacked in the head with a Matrioshka doll will drastically increase.
     Our highly professional experts also argue that the best way of conquering her heart (besides offering her a trip to Disneyland with a free pass for any French McDonald’s) consists in inviting her to dance her favourite dance, the Kalinka. This has been proved to be both an advantage as it is a disadvantage, as we get to put on the most magnificent set of clothes in order to dance but one can get severely injured in his back.
     The success of these studies would have been tremendous, had the experts not been submitted to a perilous journey through the vast dimensions of her house, the Kremlin. This journey allowed them and us to conclude two things: firstly, that Natasha is what they believed to be “rich as bloody hell” as her house has everything one could ever wish for, apart from (and that’s the only reason) not having enough directions to the nearest toilet, hence all the suffering endured by the experts, who had eaten too much.    
      In conclusion, we must ask ourselves: is Natasha worth the experience? That is something no scientific study can answer for you, and is left for you to discover.

André Pinho & Miguel La Feria


     Love is a strange place. Most people don’t think they will find it in the shape of a 1.80m, blonde, Russian bombshell. I however, have. Since we first began dating, things have been going really well, even though we have some issues.
     On the one hand, our major problem is communication: she doesn’t speak English, and I speak no Russian whatsoever. This is rather frustrating, because I know her to be an intelligent and cultured person, a side of her I unfortunately do not have access to. To fix that, we are both taking lesson on the other’s language. This is a time-consuming and nerve-wrecking process because up to now, I haven’t managed to raise my Russian anywhere above pathetic.
    On the other, our lack of communication avoids most ridiculous, unfortunate and pointless arguments which plague the majority of relationships, contributing to a stronger bond between us. Her father is tremendously rich, even though it is not an essential requisite for a girlfriend, it has its advantages. He’s more than happy to pay for the majority of her big-spendings, because my student position doesn’t allow me much financial independence.
     This has a major setback: her father is rich because he is the godfather of the matrioska mafia, a Russian criminal organization with ties to the Kremlin. There is a certain fear factor involved here.
     I haven’t stated it here, but apart from being a really intelligent and nice girl, she is absolutely stunning! Taking her out is an ego trip. She has great dressing taste and attracts looks from a lot of people. The most charming and beautiful smile belongs to her. I cannot see those perfect straight white teeth and not smile back.
    Speaking of grins, one who is always grinning is her 1,97m bodybuilding, balalaika playing, kalinka dancing, kickboxing brother: Dimitri. Apart from being a ridiculously mad man who is always hovering around us as if I was the Russian mobster and was planning to kidnap his sister, I believe he will eventually accept me, but as of now, he hates my guts.
    All things considered, Natasha is a wonderful woman. She is very bright, unbelievably beautiful and simply the most amazing person I know. We do have our issues, but it’s nothing compared to the love we share for each other. I know we will be able to walk, hand in hand, to a great future and a better life.

Miguel Dias, Miguel Santos & Pedro Botte

     An issue constantly at stake is the relationship between people from different countries - we believe they don´t usually work out and we speak for ourselves. One of the main reasons for saying this was the my relationship with a Russian named Dimitri, a complete disaster.
     Some people believe that coming from different cultural backgrounds may affect a relationship, specially if they don´t speak the same language. This happened to me and Dimitri: I couldn´t speak Russian and he couldn´t speak English...
     It is argued by experts that Russians - because of what they suffered  during and after the second world war - are tough: you could actually say they are like the matrioskas, we have to open them up, one at a time. Dimitri was very shy and I thought if I waited to know him a little better, he would get more interesting. However, after opening all the dolls, all that remained was a tiny little colourless dummy.
     The balalaika is considered a very beautiful instrument, but the so-called romantic sounds of this guitar are, in our opinion, a little annoying. One could say Dimitri played that instrument all the time...
     Many people believe that the kalinka, the typical Russian dance, is one of the most beautiful in the world. The Kremlin  is also considered a world wonder and the most important symbol of the Russian culture. This led me to the advantages of dating Dimitri. He was handsome, rich,  so he could take me to several kalinka shows. Moreover, his house is next to the Kremlin.
     In conclusion, although this relationship helped  me to grow culturally, it didn´t work because of our differences of language,  culture and different ways  of thinking. Too bad...

Carlota Caldeira & Marta Taborda


     Dating is always a hard goal to beat, but the main question is: “Is she the perfect girl or not?” Today we have Natasha, who is planning to get a date with a western student. Do we approve or disapprove of this date? Let us find out.
     First of all, Natacha is a girl with Russian nationality and she's 22 years old. Her favourite hobbies are collecting matrioskas, playing the balalaika and listening to pop music; she often visits some of the most important monuments in Moscow and St. Petersburg. A person with a high cultural level is an ideal girlfriend. But what about her origins?
     Some people believe that languages are barriers; this might bring some issues between the couple. The lack of communication and the long travels through the european continent might bring some delay, impatience and costs, thus creating a big insatisfaction.
    Another counter-argument is the fact that their parents  come from different family backgrounds: Natasha is from a conservative country - where people suffered a lot with the Cold War and  communism -, while her western boyfriend's home country had a different history, culture and ideology.
    In conclusion, we all agree that Natasha is a good partner and that the language barrier is a challenge, but an "overcomable". However, concerning their parents' cultures, their reunion might be unprobable...

      António Alves