Sunday, February 18, 2007

Your message on our e-group

Sender: Benjamin nocturnalitian@...
date: Sun Jul 10, 2005 2:51 pm


I've (somewhat tediously) read through your entire argument on the subject. I
have a few comments to make:

Firstly, I still have no idea how it is possible for myself, as a commoner and a
15-year-old without any profession or reputable status, to give aid to this
campaign. I must highlight that the e-group which you have joined is one used
for educational purposes. It is currently dormant, and was used by our class
last year for liaison and instruction-dissemination purposes.

Secondly, I admire your effort in writing out the entire mail, but it does get a
little chunky to read, and tedious too. You might want to break up your essay
into separate paragraphs/sections with appropriate sub-headings, as well as to
organize it a little so that we know where to look for the relevant information.
As a debater myself, I do, too, have haphazard arrays of thoughts which I jot
down in a huge flurry. But my classmates often tell me that they don't usually
bother to read through my long e-mails unless I organize them properly.

Thirdly, I completely support and admire your cause. I am an avid writer, and
here in Singapore we are trained to write formally. Should you need any help
iterating your intentions in a diplomatic, convincing and formal manner, I will
be more-than-glad to offer my humble aid. I do recognize the fact that you may
have reservations about employing the assistance of a possibly-puerile
15-year-old so I'll leave it as that.

I guess you should be able to scour enough introductory details about myself
from the above.


from: sam@...
Re: Your message on our e-group

Dear Ben,

I’m happy to read you thoughtful message, it’s hard to imagine that it wrote by 15-year old boy, I’m proud of you. You taught me some new words; I hope you noticed that English is my 2d language. I think you can rewrite my article to make it not tedious article.

I like to know more about you and what is your native language. I think you can support my campaign by rewrite my article and send messages to the UNHCR.

I like to publish your message on my blog with your permission.

Thank you very much and I hope to hear from you soon.


From: Ben Chow
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 00:09:01 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Re: Your message on our e-group

Dear Sam,

First and foremost... It's my first time corresponding on an international basis and on such a formal level, and I must remark that I feel honoured to be involved in such a liaison :)

Well I think why I responded to your appeal in the first place...

I don't think this topic hit me as hard as some of the other topics currently revolving in my mind, but more of, I found your lengthy discourse rather informative. I don't think I'd ever viewed all these propagandistic appeals for aid from this light, but upon reading your arguments, it dawned on me that this was not something pedantic to be overlooked.

In fact, I'm rather surprised I actually hit the "contact" button and began typing my mail as I usually take a backseat, discussing issues casually and out-of-context with my parents and classmates. But I'm glad that I did, after all, and I hope to offer my support constructively in addition to learning more about the inworks of the UNHCR. Glad to know that

I must applaud your laudable standard of English, as a Lebanese, and your valiant battle against UNHCR. It's very heartening to note that people actually do care for the rights of others, especially in a world whereby everything seems to be controlled by economical statistics.

Thanks for clarifying the definition of a refugee. I never really thought much about the life of a refugee or what it was like to be one before, but I daresay the conventional strings were probably subconsciously attached to the term "refugee" at the back of my mind.

With all the hubbub about aid distribution (especially with the recent Tsunami crisis in my neighbouring regions) I am also particularly interested in finding out more about how all this aid collected by all these organizations is disseminated and what all those figures reported perfunctorily in the newspapers actually mean. I particularly loved your sarcasm over the 90-cents-a-year incident. :) All this money certainly has to go somewhere! So where exactly does it end up? I think much of the world who is shielded from this would concur in wanting to know more about this too!

Well, in Singapore, our national language, theoretically, is Malay (our history involves us once being part of the Malay Archipelago). Being a Chinese, I am obligated to learn Chinese in School. However, I come from an English-speaking family - my Dad and Mum primarily converse in English at home. Here in Singapore, English is also the primary working language of science, business and technology, and it is a compulsory first-language in schools. Even our mother tongue (Chinese for me) only takes the status of a "second language". I also used to take French as a third-language, and hence can speak and write (very) basic French :)

About the publishing of my mail, I'm perfectly fine with it.

I do admit that school work does cramp up the lives of Singaporean students a lot, especially those in the better schools, but I promise to try my best in undertaking any writing tasks you may require.

About your article, I think it's fine to leave it as it is for now. But in addressing mails to the UNHCR, I could probably try to phrase and insinuate your intentions more tactfully :)

Keep up with the good work, truth warrior!



from: sam@...
Re: Your message on our e-group

Dear Ben,

It’s nice to hear from you again, I’m very happy to read your message and think in same time that you’re just 15 years old. You fascinating me with your writing. I’m receiving many messages every day and mostly from English-speaking people but not all of them able to write like you, you must be proud of yourself.

I’m not Lebanese buy I’m an Iraqi refugee living in Lebanon for the moment. I thought myself to speak English. I’m working now to bring more understanding about our situation and our problems as refugees in the world. I hope that we’ll improve the performance of the UNHCR. There is a lot we could speak about the policies and procedures of the UNHCR. One of these policies is the about the donations, I think that the UNHCR don’t need to ask for donations for many reasons. I spoke about some of these reasons in my article ‘Human-buttons’ and I’ll write more in the future. I hope we’ll stay in contact and I think you can help now by send message to the UNHCR if you like and I hope that they’ll answer your message. Here are their emails:,,Hqpr00@Unhcr.Ch,,,

I hope we’ll have more cooperation and be friends without formal language. I wish you the best in your life.

Peace upon you and thank you for your understanding.