Zakia finds happiness in writing

Zakia Elnazak made it her goal to learn English so that she could write about topics she is passionate about. Nowadays, she feels confident putting pen to paper, and so much more.

Zakia Elnazak’s zest for life and enthusiasm is infectious.

When Zakia migrated from Lebanon to Australia, her dream was to be able to write articles fluently in English.

With sheer determination, she achieved her goal.

“Everyone has to follow their dreams,” says Zakia. “It doesn’t matter how long it takes. It doesn’t matter how hard you have to work.

“When you achieve your dream, you feel happy. This happiness can’t compare with any happiness because this is for yourself.

“When you do this, you give everyone around you this feeling.”

Zakia arrived in Australia in 1994. She had a Law degree from Damascus University and had always loved education, reading and writing.

In 2014, when her two sons were grown, Zakia published a book in Arabic called The Pillars of Life. It delved into social topics such as family, men’s and women’s roles, generosity, humility, willpower, love and women’s rights.

After that, she felt inspired to continue writing.

“I started to read lots of books from the local library to improve my English,” says Zakia. “I started to think, ‘why don’t I write articles in English’?”

With the encouragement of her family, Zakia enrolled in Chisholm’s Certificate III in EAL (Further Study).

“After such a long time, it was not that easy going back to school, but I was motivated by my family,” says Zakia.

“They are always here for me. They helped me and pushed me to do what I like to do and to get results.”

Zakia excelled at Chisholm, so much so, that she was nominated as Foundation Student of the Year at the 2023 Chisholm Education Awards.

“I’m really thankful for my teachers and for the people at Chisholm,” says Zakia. “They helped me a lot and led me to the right pathway with my education.”

Zakia says completing the Certificate III was one of her biggest achievements – one that opened up all sorts of doors.

During the course, Zakia secured volunteer work with a playgroup at the Central Ringwood Community Centre, which in turn led to part-time work through the Migrant Information Centre as a multi-lingual community employment connector.

Not only can she converse and write beautifully in English nowadays, Zakia says she also learned a lot about Australia and made lasting friendships at TAFE.

“Last year I wrote an article by myself and I was really happy with how my language had improved,” she says.

“The course also taught us a lot about multiculturalism. I loved this because all of us were from overseas and we left as one family. We were happy to talk about our background and showcase our cultures.”

After completing the course, Zakia followed a pathway to a career in Community Services.

“I am enjoying studying because learning is endless,” says Zakia.

“You never feel that you have enough knowledge. When you achieve your aim and goal, you’re looking forward to another goal.”