Ok so finding an interview is by far the hardest part of the project … I tried and tried and I could barely even find a contact! I guess I should expect that since Dana is from Iraq and trying to contact people from there probably won’t work. Nonetheless, I tried to go to all those Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 1.01.32 PMreferences pages on Wikipedia and I still found nothing! I was searching all over the internet for something … anything just to help me complete this part of the assignment. I did try and tweet one guy, Eric Westervelt, who wrote an article about Dana in Iraq. However, the only contact information was his twitter account so it is not like he is going to see it anytime soon! As for the other articles, when I went to go see who wrote the article, there would be just a name and no contact information. Weird right? Anyways, so I kept trying Screen Shot 2014-12-07 at 1.03.12 PMto find contacts but my luck was not getting any better. Therefore, I sadly came to the conclusion that I did not come out with an interview this year 🙁 Which I was really upset about because I was so successful last year. The fact that I couldn’t even find only one person to contact was also a very frustrating process! I suppose considering the fact that there are no biographies, books, or any type of social media accounts on Dana makes it that much harder … but I tried and I guess that is all I could have done!

history from computer

history from computer

more history

more history

The Night of Dana

Wow … So that’s it! Eminent is over! Although I am very happy that it is all over, a part of me also feels really empty that it’s all over. In fact, Waleed and I were talking the other day and we were saying how it almost feels weird not turning around to each other and starting the

After the speeches

After the speeches

sentence with “so for eminent.” Nonetheless, it was probably one of the best nights of my life! Although we were all so nervous and scared in the way of excitement, I would say that the night was an absolute success. Everyone killed it out there and I honestly could not be more proud of all the tens. All the work and long nights finally paid off in the time frame of about 2 mins on stage … But let me tell you, was it ever worth it! The feeling after was indescribable. The feeling of joy, relief, and accomplishment was shining through all the big smiles on our faces 🙂 Moreover, Night of the Notables, December 3rd was a day that I will never forget!

On stage

On stage

On a more technical note, I thought that I personally had the performance of my life. Probably one of the best speeches I have ever performed and I’m very proud of what I accomplished that night. I know for me, being the last of everyone, I was freaking out backstage. Just trying to think of all the work I put into this project all for this one moment. Now although I was nervous, once I hit the stage all those nerves began to sink and my confidence began to rise. I thought I performed with confidence, passion, and energy (just like Dana would). I also thought that I had a very clear and loud voice that was very effective in the message I was trying to get across. My goal was to make everyone feel like they could go out there and do anything they wanted to after listening to my speech, and I think I accomplished that goal successfully. I think what helped me achieve my goal was that reading about Dana really made me realize that when I may think I can’t, there are always people out there who are going through worse and they still can. It made me a lot more passionate about the things I do and that passion and energy really helped me show that side of her on stage.

During my learning centre

During my learning centre

Once the speeches were done, the learning centres begun. I am not going to lie, those things tired me right out. Although it was very fun telling everyone all the amazing things you learned about your person, that part of the night was definitely a drag! Nonetheless, I personally thought that my learning centre was a success. Although there weren’t that many components to it, I thought that I had a lot of information about Dana already, that I could just talk … which I think seemed to work. I thought I received a lot of action from parents, teachers, and students which was awesome because it felt good telling everyone everything you learned. I also enjoyed checking out everyone’s learning centre towards the end of the night … they were all so fascinating and interesting in everyone’s own and unique way.



To conclude, as I have stated previously, the Night of the Notables was indeed a success. Being a grade 10 and having to go through the whole process of writing speech after speech, draft after draft, and constantly editing and trying to make the speech the best it can be definitely all pays off in the end. I think that in grade 10, we really start to understand what eminent is and I really believe because of that extra understanding, our speeches are that much more powerful. I truly enjoyed this experience and I regret nothing about it! Thank you everyone who made this night possible, it definitely was one to remember.



Document of Learning

Hey guys! So, I’m slowly starting to freak out about Night of the Notables and having so much other things to do has really not made my life any easier! However, that is life and soon enough it will all be over. Moreover, for my document of learning I have to decided to throw out a draft of my speech! After long hours and endless tears of stress I finally got the chance to sit down and write one of the most important speeches that I’ll ever write. So, here it is!


Gunshots, I still run

Car bombs, I still run

Gunfights, I still run

Politics, I still run

Run down track, I still run

Beat up runners, I run harder

I’m a girl. So what? I still run

I run because I want to and I won’t stop because I have to. I love this sport too much and because I have ambitions, passion, and desire I will always run. I run to escape, to be free. I run to show that nothing is impossible. Doubts, laughs, lack of support … it’s what fuels me. My energy, my passion, my desire, my ambition comes from the “she cant’s” and “she wont’s”. But I can and I will always run for me and for my country.


I tried to write this speech as motivation. Dana is very self motivated and she is one of the most determined people I have ever come across. She truly believes that nothing is impossible and has inspired me a lot! Dana has made me realize that when I think it might be “the end of the world” there are people out there in the world, like her, going through worse. The fact the she has so much passion and ambition living as a female athlete in Iraq is really what proves her eminence to me.

Please feel free to comment your thoughts and feedback, I’ll be more than happy to reply to everyone. Thank you and hope everyone enjoys it! 🙂

Library Post – SFU Trip

One by one the days go by and time literally just flys right past me. Distracted by English, Science, French, or whatever assignment TALONS has got me doing, Eminent has somehow found its way at the bottom of my list! However, I refuse to let that happen anymore! I am determined to make this speech the best speech I have ever written and it is all going to start with this library post.

On Thursday October 30th, both TALONS classes went on an adventure to the beautiful campus we call SFU to explore and experience campus life as well as, trying to find extra information about our eminent people in the gigantic SFU Library.

On that trip, I was seeking for any books I could find about my eminent person and campus life experiences and what it is like to become a university student. I unfortunately did not find any books about Dana Hussein, however, I am continuing to research her daily and finding new information about her and her background story which I find to be a very interesting and complex part about her journey to become an Olympian. Although I didn’t find any books about my eminent person, I did indeed gain many different campus life experiences that added to the field trip. Such as, seeing and observing certain and specific study areas that students gather to study or “hangout”, I also experienced the way the university functions; how students go to class and so forth, and I also experienced the overall student life that students try and promote. For example, there were many flyers and posters all around the campus that advertised different clubs or teams to get involved in. As well as, tables all around the campus advertising clubs and teams. This makes me really excited to become involved in my future school that I go to.

During this trip, I took many pictures with my phone that captured a lot of what I thought was very interesting about the campus, the museum, and the library. I also talked to my peers about each part of the day to share and express ideas and how interesting everything was at the moment. Going to SFU really made it real that we one day will be graduating and heading to university and I am glad that I have somewhat experienced what a normal day would be like.

In SFU, I would say that I learned more about the student life then I did about my eminent person. For one, I never found any books or anything about my person and two, I was really focused on how campus life is because I am very excited to become and university student and live the “uni life”. The theme of the trip for me was to explore the campus and the way campus life is and I believe I accomplished that theme of the trip. As for the next step, I want to start focusing on my interview because I know that the interview may be the hardest part of this whole trip. However, I am excited for the challenge and I know I will be learning more and more about Dana that will add to my speech! Thank you for reading my post, Talk to you all soon! 🙂

Eminent Intro Post 2014: Dana Hussein

October 28th. Wow has the time gone by! It feels like just yesterday I was beginning my journey as a grade 9. However, that is surely not the case. I am now in grade 10 .. the last and final year of TALONS, and here I am struggling to find a person to study for the most important year of my life! UGH! Don’t you fear though, because yesterday at approximately 10:02 PM I saw the light. I found the person that I wanted to study, and she goes by the name Dana Hussein.

Dana Hussein

Dana is an Iraqi olympian born on January 3rd, 1986. She is only 26 and has competed in the 2008 and 2012 Olympics as a sprinter, participating in the 60m, 100m, and 200m races. In Beijing (2008), she competed in the 100m dash with a time of 12 seconds which was not enough to advance to the second round. However, in 2011 Dana participated in the Pan Arab Games and won a gold medal in the 100m dash, a silver medal in the 200m dash, and a bronze in the 400m sprint. Dana was also the flag bearer for Iraq in the 2012 during the Summer Olympics opening ceremonies in London.

Although Dana has not won anything in the olympic level, I would say she is a successful athlete despite all the adversity that is faced with being an Iraqi woman. Born in a family where both parents were born and raised in Iraq, I know that it is difficult to enter the world of sports as a woman. Moreover, Dana was the only Iraqi athlete to train during the war filled country. At the time of Saddam Hussein, Dana never got a chance to run. Her parents were to scared to let her near any sports. But that didn’t stop her, Dana loved what she did and wanted to keep pushing herself to reach the Olympics one day.

Ever since the US invasion in Iraq in 2003, Dana laced up her shoes and took it to the track. However, she faced far more obstacles than just the rough patches of turf. She went through checkpoints, threats and bullets all to stop her from running. She didn’t let it get to her though, she continued to run, continued to work towards her goal of representing her country.

Today, Dana is proud and determined to represent her country. Despite all the obstacles and odds, her dreams still extend beyond the medals. “Sports can unify the Iraqi people – no Sunnis, no Shiites, just sport for the country” Dana says.