"To the impartial eye, the world not only seems an unlikely one-off phenomenon, but a constant strain on reason. If reason exists, that is, if a neutral reason exists. So speaks the voice from within. So speaks Joker's voice." - Jostein Gaarder

Saturday, June 24, 2006

A brown "Sedrieh"

Do u remember that brown uniform we used to wear to preparatory school, do u remember the shades of brown, and how each "level" of browness sayed sth about this kid, the "folar".. some had the really neat folar with the Tala2e3 al-baath logo in needle work and "Joze", in colors.. while the majority used the all famous "one tie" that u never were able to untie...
I moved a lot for a kid in prep school.. From Imad Ali public school that was near my granps place where we were staying, I remember the headmaster, bald, clean, a frightening figure for a 7 year old boy...
He once was so angry at me because I had a "banky" hair cut, i was like 2nd grade, we were lining up and doing the "ta7iet al-3alam", he called me up infront of the WHOLE school... and he asked me "shou 2ases sha3rak", I said "carre", I can still hear the laughin voices in my head...
In this school I got my first lesson of "wasta" when the teacher's daughter was cried her eyes out because she wasnt elected "3arreefeh" and I the "freely" elected 3arreef had to step down.. ofcourse the teacher was kind enough to name me "na2eb 3arreef".
I was every teacher's pet in prep school, when mom decided to move to "al-Karmel" private school, the headmaster practically begged her not too, because "Private" schools will only "ruin" me.
But there it was, I was at 4th grade in Karmel, I got my first lesson of "religious" discrimination there.. lol, ofcourse mom came to school and made a scene, and they were soo freaking nice afterwards it made me sick actully, I dont have much memories about that year, I didnt feel like school, we had a great yard and stuff, bas the main ingredients of school to me was the "Brown Sedrieh" so I can go nuts with the pens and inks instead of the stupid blue thing that gets staind every other second and consequently me getting some real "bahdale" back home.
and OFCOURSE OFCOURSE the favorite game of all time "rekkedeh", comon people, WHAT IS SCHOOL WITHOUT REKKEDEH!!! seriously now... I was the fastest in my old school... puff, it was a tough year, I didnt do well in exams too, I used the "mama, al-autocar ma eja, WALLAHI" excuse sooo many times to skip school.. and I BEGGED MY MOM to move me back to another public school..
in 5th class, I was back playing rekkedeh, and eating "da22a", my god I love that thing, its a genius invention.
Do u remember how substitute teachers used to walk in the school yard during breaks with the stick and start ruining the fun of rekkedeh...
Th joy when u wear shorts that are shorter than ur sedrieh, and the freedom u feel down there...
The best part was the going back home after dawam ba3d aldeher days... it used to take like an hour for a 10 minute walk, quarling, following ur crush, playing football in the middle of the street, or just walking.
I remember tht on saturdays and sundays Future TV had a "Disney Morning", so I'd wake up like 4:30 am, sneak to the living room and watch 2.30h of unstoppable, gummie bears, goofy goof, micky, mighty ducks, winnie the pooh, and ofcourse my ever lovely The little Mermaid...
And then, on saturdays and sundays I used to have "dawam saba7y" so I get back home at the right time when 3alam al-saba7 ends and they have this sooo beautiful "family" movie, ofcourse disney too.. I remember it was always from 1pm - 3pm... I'd sit there, dad would make me one of these super-big melting cheese sandwitches and a HUGE cup of tea, and I'd eat it all in the unconciousness of watching the movie...
and then mom comes at 3, and yells "rou7 ghassel rejlek", everytime we used to have an argument about this, and I was everytime surprised to see that my legs ARE dirty, I mean even if am wearing shorts and playin football, I still donno how they get THAT DIRTY.
The worst time ever is when I had to be "mersal al7ob" between my best friend, and my other female best friend, whom I had a secret crush on for the whole 2 years, I was the one who exchanged the love letters between the 2 love birds. it was a sweet torture though... for an 11 year old boy... donno how exactly that helped make the "now me"...
Btw, I read Jubran's "al2rwa7 almotamarredeh" and "al2jne7a almotakassera" for the first time then.. and they made a huge imprint on me.. untill now..
I was elected again as 3arreef, and this time I took the job "seriously" probably too seriously, because although I got a "Mar7a" for how good I ran the class, and how fast I got them to line up and stuff... they never really voted for me again...
I could go on, for days.. so we'll just call it tonight...

Shar7 almofradat, for those of u who werent lucky enough to go to prep school in syria..
Sedrieh : The uniform for prep school students in syria, Brown for public schools and blue for private
Banky : A VERY popular haircut at the time.
Wasta : corruption??
3arreef : head of class.
na2eb 3arreef : an imaginary position invented by the evil teacher, supposedly means the vice-3arreef.
rekkedeh : the game where a team has to catch the other team, basically running through the yard...
da22a : like a powder, salt za3tar and lots of other flavors just mixed and "mat7ooneeen" ma3 ba3d...


Blogger Mirzade said...

well... i dunno i like the post
but i dunno sth is wrong u brought back my shcool memories which are not very diff after all but to me these are SAD memories... i dont have ONE GOOD memory bout shcool !!
i wasnt a "child" u might say so those things never made sense to me i never understood them !!

June 24, 2006 1:59 AM

Blogger Mirzade said...


June 24, 2006 1:59 AM

Blogger Omar said...

lol.. talk about cultural differences..
this is my version of your shar7 al moufradat:

da22a in Damascus is what you guys called rekkedeh (I didn't know that name before).. and there were variations on that one (da22a 3eesh, da22a 7arami, and others that are wiped from my memory now)

now, I know that we had the ground za3tar and oither things (which you called da22a).. but it was made from 2dameh safrah (roasted chickpeas) and some other ingredients.. it was mildly sweet, and I can't for the life of me remember its name :( we used to buy it in brown paper cones..

we also played da7al (beeds) until the headmaster decided that it was not allowed (another manifestation of power with no real reason) and they started going into our classes and search our bags for them... anything to ruin a child's memories and make it look like an army experience...

then, we played 8 byoot (the game with the stones that you kick with your feet to land in the appropriate box and then you have to jump on one leg to the rest of them.. and then, this developed into Za7ta (with a stone too, two fields and two players.. like tennis only with your feet)..god, that was so much fun..

ehh... you brought back some very distant memories... not all of them are happy ones (I hated school and LOVED University).. i didn't pass the being the middle guy period since I went to an all-boys school (stupid sexual oppression manifested in one-gendered schools... and they ask why people grow up with psychological issues).. I did play the chaperon to my friend who spent 2 years under a girl's balcony hoping that she would look at him.. only he didn't want to go alone..

anyway, I could go forever.. so I will shut up now and leave place to thers to bring back their memories

June 24, 2006 4:39 AM

Blogger Parvaneh said...

Dear ,

Just want to say that I love Damascus , I studied Arabic there for several months and can't forget the old city ....

See my blog , I ALSO have written about Damascus .

June 24, 2006 6:12 AM

Blogger Amr T said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

June 24, 2006 8:12 AM

Blogger Yazan said...

ana kaman

yeah, exactly, its the same thing 2dameh safra and stuff.. man i loved that,.

the one thing i was lucky about, is that i never went to only-boys school, from elementary i got into "mutafaw2een" which was the only school "mukhtalat", that was nice..

nice to see u here..

SORRY!!! its in ur mail... ;)

June 25, 2006 1:18 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey!!! You remind me of the wonderful days of school; actually I had great days in my private "Armenian" school. I had great days there and I'm not gonna lie and say I was in a better school we had all the same stuff but in Armenian….
Anyway it's nice to remember that days and how awful I felt when I first went to "Ghasan 7arfoush" and how I was crying the first day cus basically I couldn't really understand anything especially this "Mdarbe" thing… and that we shouldn't made them ANGRY….but also I had great years in that school too…..
Thx Yaz for reminding me of that days…

June 25, 2006 1:49 AM

Blogger Zaher said...

you brought the old me back to life ..i've been searching for him since ever ..i don't know hope it will stick with me this time i don't wanna lose him.
one of your best posts ever...
you brought memories to all of us.
sad or Happy ..you just sit down and smile remembering those days...
man i miss my prep school..

and about the da2a .. i think they call it na3meh here in damascus or na3oom ..something like that.

and yazan please ,i wanna know how to add media to my blog too (i don't have one )..but just incase i wanted to post anything ..you never know

June 27, 2006 9:41 AM

Blogger Yazan said...

havent seen u in a while..

hehe, man just ur name alone reminds of a bunch of happy times, GOD I MISS THAT LIME GREEN YaBB DidoTV!! REALLY

it was so causy...

June 27, 2006 9:26 PM

Anonymous maya said...

:) nice post...
i think i turned 40 when i was only 13...don't think i ever really was a teenager...boy am i going to have a major mid-life crisis!!! :p
i regret it..most of the time anyway...university was fun though..i did architecture in damascus like omar,missed him by a few years ..
i do remember picking up the garbage in the "ba7a" all the time i used to hate it when people would throw their trash on the floor instead of the bin!!!

p.s:goody two shoes me was 3arrefeh most of the time..

June 28, 2006 4:29 AM

Blogger Zaid Faham said...

well,it's good to read again your posts!

June 28, 2006 4:52 AM

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Anonymous Imad said...

yeah Karmel was my school for six years...you are right..yalla later..r u guys from Lattakia also

October 09, 2006 7:13 AM

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