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This is the untold story of how the Lebanese community overcame the odds and found their place in multicultural Australia. This is a community that has been besieged by events beyond their control. But they have emerged stronger than ever with a resilience and strength that will carry them into the future.
|S01E01||1975-1996||19/06/2014||The story begins in the 1970s when large numbers of Lebanese migrants flooded into Australia. Many were Muslim, most were traumatised by civil war, all were desperate to build a better future. Over the coming decades, these new Australians struggled to establish a new life in their adopted country.|
|S01E02||1997-2001||26/06/2014||By the late 1990s the Lebanese Australian community is being terrorised by a violent criminal minority enforcing the drug racket with extreme violence and handguns. On the streets young teenagers aspire to the glamour of gangster rap, many working as runners and dealers for the drug gangs. Part of a slightly older generation George Basha and the El Kheir brothers Sal and Sam know the young runners are on a path leading to jail or death. In 1998 14-year-old Korean schoolboy Edward Lee is stabbed to death when he walks into the wrong Telopea St front yard. The police hit back with raids and arrests of criminals across southwest Sydney. In 2000, around the time of the Olympics, a series of heinous gang rapes stir up the bigotry of the tabloid online and print media as an innocent community is outraged.|
|S01E03||2001-2005||03/07/2014||After 9/11, the War on Terror makes many in the Lebanese Australian community feel their loyalty is being unfairly questioned. Zaky Mallah is a Punchbowl teenager recovering from the early death of his parents. Searching for answers in Islam he looks for meaning in jihad. As the Howard Government introduces new anti-terrorist laws, Zaky becomes the first Australian in history to be charged under the new counter-terrorist laws. Elsewhere in Sydney, for decades two worlds have shared Cronulla Beach, the Western Suburbs and the Cronulla Shire. On December 4, 2005 after years of mounting tension a fight breaks out between off duty life guards and a group of Lebanese Australian men. The media fans the flames of racism and the message is clear: Arabs are attacking the Aussie way of life. On Sunday December 11, the infamous racially fuelled Cronulla Riots make headlines around the world.|
|S01E04||2005-2012||10/07/2014||In the days following the Cronulla Beach riots in December 2005, many young Lebanese Australians are outraged at what they perceive as an attack by wider Australia on their Australian identity, their culture and religion. When rumours spread of reprisals against the Lakemba Mosque thousands gather to protect the building, among them many people of non-Arabic or Muslim background. Lebanese Australian community leaders work closely with the NSW Government and police to crack down on the violence. The year after the Cronulla Riots, Jihad Dib becomes deputy principal of Punchbowl Boys' High School, a school once struggling in a suburb known for drug activity. By 2009 Jihad is principal and the school records some of the fastest growth rates in writing and numeracy in the nation, although real challenges remain.|