Tales of Yore #7: Dramatic Landing

So, in 11th grade they decided a good step to be taken towards widening our cultural horizons was through improvising a new Drama class. We were to choose between that or painting. Needless to say, all of them guys chose the drama thingy. This drama class might ranks, without a shadow of doubt, amongst the richest sources of tales of yore. I have selected one that involves a friend of ours that is officially declared MIA.

On our very first Drama class, the teacher thought we needed some sort of exercise, game, that would help us get started + help us meld together into a teamworking form for whatever was supposed to wait next. So, we were told to form 2 parallel lines facing each other just at the edge of the stage. It should be noticed that the class took place in what was then considered the school’s official theatre. Back to the two lines of students facing each other at the edge of the stage; a random student was picked at random and was asked to run across the stage and dive-jump in between the 2 lines.

I cannot remember who the first one was but it was kinda fun, especially when it takes place after 5 hours of routine classes. So, more people volunteered, one by one, to take the run and jump. Soonish afterwards, the heavier students were compelled to give it a try. I remember Slvador running towards us with that crazed laugh on his face and started thinking this might be getting lamer by the minute. We absorbed the shock of his crash, somehow. To our astonishment and horror, or more precisely, astonishment-by-horror we saw Deya’ charging towards us. I’m not about to describe Deya’. He escapes description through words. Few steps away from the edge of the stage, every single one of us realized that no just God would require a mortal being to concede such a sacrifice and unanimously decided to step out of the way.

Two seconds later we had a raging lump of meat panting on the ground swearing vengeance upon all those who failed to face the harrowing of the first Drama class. And thus, started the escapade of a whole class from what was later known to be Abu Sheera.


“على الأرض حيوان، له قامة طويلة، و أذرع قريبة الشبه بأذرع الشيمبانزي، أما الساقان فضامرتان و في نهايتهما أقدام عريضة، أما في القمة فكتلة صلبة مغطاة بالشعر، و فيها ثقوب عديدة، في المقدمة و على الجانبين. و هذا، الحيوان يستخدم الثقب الأمامي، و خاصة العريض في أسفل الكتلة الصلبة، في القرض و الغناء و الصفير، و أيام الشتاء يستخدمه للتنفس، أما أيام الرعب فإنه يستعمله لغرض واحد فقط، و هذا الغرض لم يعرف له اسم محدد بعد، قال بعضهم للدفاع عن النفس، و قال آخرون للقتل، أما الكثرة الغالبة، فتؤكد أن الاستعمال الوحيد لهذا الثقب في زمن الرعب، يكون للقتل أو الانتحار!

هناك اعتقاد واسع أن هذا الحيوان سوف ينقرض خلال فترة قصيرة، و في حال انقراضه ستحتفل الحياة، لأن ذهاب هذا الحيوان بداية السعادة الحقيقية على الأرض!

متى نشأ هذا الحيوان؟ كيف نشأ؟ لا أحد يعرف. أفاقت الحيوانات، ذات يوم، فإذا بها تجد نفسها أمام شيء جديد، لم تألفه من قبل. و قد حاولت كثيراً أن تقيم صلات عاقلة مع هذا الحيوان. وافق في البداية، لكن مع الأيام، أخذ يوقع بينها و يقتلها، و قد تسبب في انقراض أعداد هائلة من الحيوانات الرائعة التي كانت تعيش على الأرض، و لما تكشفت نوايا هذا الحيوان الجديد، ابتعد عنه الجميع، ذهبوا بعيداً و تركوا له كل شيء، لكنه لم يكتف، بدأ يحاصر الحيوانات و يقتلها في كل مكان، و لما يجد شيئاً يقتله أخذ يقتل بعضه. و هكذا بدأت المجازر، بدأت منذ آلاف السنين و لم تتوقف. و لذلك يعتقد أن انقراض هذا الحيوان، أصبح وشيكاً خاصة و أن الطرق التي يتبعها في القتل الآن تطورت كثيراً، و أصبحت فعالة بحيث لا تخطئ أبدا!.”

وصف استوقفني كثيراً كتبه الشاعر عبد الرحمن منيف في مستهل روايته “شرق المتوسط”. وصف و على الرغم من تكوينه الخيالي يقترب حد التصوير من الكائن الموصوف، ارتأيت مشاركتكم إياه في أولى محاولاتي التدوينية على موقعكم، ربما لما تركه من بالغ الأثر في نفسي عند قراءته أول مرة و لكثرة ما استحضرت جوانب تشابهه مع أحداث حياتنا وحياة أحداثنا.

سعيدة بانضمامي لموقعكم و أتطلع لمشاركة أكبر في المستقبل القريب.

Tales of Yore#6: Flask of Eternity

This took place sometime in our freshman/sophomore year at college. It was a hot Summer morning and I was in the company of Yanal as we strode the lengths of the science square during one of our mutual breaks. Boredom led us up the stairs of the physics department and onto its roof.

There, we found an empty flask that has been cast away for some reason and left to the tear and wear of time. Our first instictive reaction was to have a kick at it. After several gentle kicks and sweeps, we decided it qualified for more brutal beating. To our greater astonishment, the flask retained its structural integrity through the constant bouncing off the walls and ragged floor of the roof. It became kinda childish delight trying to experiment with this thing to assess its limits. Nothing we did, that wouldn’t attract the attention of those below, managed to break the damn flask!

In our thrill, we decided to name it the flask of eternity. This was a major breakthrough in non-academic activities that can be done in between lectures in such a place as JU. So, I carried the flask off the ground, walked to an area just behind the door of the roof, there to safekeep it for next rounds of joy. So, I dropped the flask to the ground just to have it splash into a multitude of tiny crystal shards.

In a sense, the Arabic crowds are similar to the Flask of eternity. Just when they thought we could take all sorts of humiliation, we burst in righteous fury.

The Flask of Eternity story is a real-life story.

Doctors Internship in Jordan (Al Emteyaz)

Here goes nothing.

After earning an undergraduate degree in human medicine, all doctors who wish to be able to practice medicine in Jordan are obliged to spend 11 months, 21 days as interns in one of Jordan’s accredited hospitals. The purpose of this year is, as would be construed, is to familiarize the newly graduating physician to the demographics of diseases in Jordan, the more common trade names of drugs and practice the ethics and skills of clinical medicine first hand under supervision.

This, on the surface of it, makes total sense. Nonetheless, what happens in the real world is a completely different story; According to where the medico ends up doing his/her internment year, different sets of problems emerge.

To explain these problems, one must be aware of the different types of hospitals where the internship year can be done. It’s either done in the Ministry of health hospitals, Private sector or in University Hospitals. Let’s see how things go in each of these 3:

– In the Ministry of health hospitals, at least 90% of them, these interns do not show up at all. They actually pop up in the hospital every 2 months, because they need to enlist themselves in the “next” rotation, and then disappear once again only to re-pop 2 months later. The only exceptions are students who do respect their training hours because they believe they are learning stuff or are just showing up for the sheer joy of it. Also, those who have managed to trigger personal grudges against them from some doctor in the hospital. It’s worth mentioning that the Ministry of Health, in addition to granting these people a certificate stating that they have underwent proper training for a whole year, pays these, without a grain of apology on my part for the shortly-to-be-used adjective, vermins 100 JDs a month. I was told by some of these people that they don’t believe 100 JDs is worth their time if they spend 6 hours a day for 20 days a month in the hospital. Apparently, they value their time at 200 JDs a visit. So, vermin-thieves is better? If we adopt their logic, a governmental employee has the right to take every Wednesday + Thursday off on account of his own belief that his 300 JD salary doesn’t cover them.. It is worth mentioning that MoH hospitals are probably the only hospitals where an intern can actually gain clinical expertise.

– Private Sector Hospitals: These can be further divided into sub-categories; The paying ones and the non-paying ones. Positions in these hospitals are very limited and usually acquired through nepotism. All non-Jordanians who wish to do internship in Jordan seek to do it in a private hospital because all other hospitals charge them for huge amounts. Each hospital has its own special case which I will be posting about in another article. The general sensation around these hospitals is that no trainees show up at all and those who show up end up being victims of others’ faults.

– University Hospitals: While these possess a huge source of knowledge and potential possibilities to hone one’s medical experience, the hierarchy of doctors, which are always seeking to vent their suppressed grudges towards their superiors through those under them, the interns end up either targeted for fun or cast aside like yesterday’s newspaper. Interns here are known as “mosquitoes” because their main assignments are to draw blood samples, deliver them to the lab, get the results back. Interns at University Hospitals are by far the most disciplined and have really hard times ditching their rounds. In compensation, they have the highest salaries (150 JDs).

One ought to ask, besides quenching sexual frustration, what do these medicos do that’s so important that’s keeping them from actually deserving the stupid license at the end of the year?
A good proportion does so to study for US exams (a really expensive, difficult exam) or foreign languages. I have finished all of the German language levels available in Jordan during my first 5 months of internship and I have only missed 2 days at the hospital (the 2 exam days) so it’s no Herculean task to do your training + study at the same time. I have a friend from Yemen who’s an intern in a private Hospital and till the very last few days before his USMLE II exam (US exam), he was still doing his shifts at the hospital.

Some people seek to work in private clinics where they are paid 10-15 JDs a shift (24 hours = 3 shifts). If you combine the money you get if you work in a paying private hospital or MoH hospital (without showing up) + 1-2 shifts a day in a private clinic you get quite a nice “pocket-money”. Did I mention that these graduates are prohibited by law to practice medicine in all of its forms? Just remember, next time you visit a general medicine clinic, there’s a 50/50 chance you’ll end up being the guinea pig of some dyslipidemic graduate. Also, many of the owners of these clinics instruct these soon-to-be-doctors to practice cheating through doing unnecessary tests/procedures and overpricing everything that was used in the management.

Oh, and there’s this part of medicos that actually spend their borrowed time smoking arjeelah, playing cards and Playstation, touring around and doing all kind of stupid nonsense.

An intern at my hospital started his internship in the 20th of July, 2010. He showed up twice in the following week and we’ve never seen him ever again. His name still shows up on the interns list in the hospital. Nepotism? Raw Retardedness? Be it whatever it may be.

Please, please, lose some of your respect for doctors.

Tales of Yore #5: Murky Grounds

It was a rainy Winter’s day at school. The earth was covered with what soon would be one of the main elements in our story, mud.

Omar decided it was the perfect weather to pick a fight with someone. The list of those capable of ambulating in such environmental conditions wasn’t really long. Omar’s choice of opponent was Saad. I’m not sure if I forgot the actual cause of the fight or simply that I haven’t ever get to know it but what I remember is watching Saad blaze down the corridors in pursuit of Omar. Omar’s flight led them downwards towards the GYM hall and the wilderness beyond. There, it seems that Saad has either caught up with Omar. Another possibility is that Omar has already planned for that place to be the arena in which to fight. On a second thought, the randomness and distractability of Omar makes it more probable that a “cool” looking piece of rock lying on the ground has caught his attention. The action part is the boring part. A dive to the ground, bodies twisting and shaking. The end result was a muddy silhouette of 2 males crawling back to the classrooms area at the end of the break.

The good part of the story is when the two of them were sent to Mr. Maher Mahfooz. Saad, on what can only be interpreted as a try to call onto the logic circuits in Mr. Maher’s brain, started to explain that the problem was only partly that he and Omar had a fight, which in a school isn’t a big deal, and majorly was the rain’s fault and that had the weather been a bit fairer that day, they wouldn’t have had to stand accused of any behavioral problems. The cute facial expressions on Saad’s face while presenting his arguments, added to the shock such a notion has caused to Mr. Maher, opted the later to go for the “Bellah 3alaik?” pathway.

The morale of the story:
1. Logic can and will cause serious damage when used uncloaked.
2. When engaging in melee combat in a muddy place, take off your clothes first.
3. When not able to abide by point #2, have the common sense of not showing up where other humanoids will be alarmed at your sight.

Tales of Yore #4: Airy Room

This happened sometime in 11th grade. We had a “Thaqafeh 3ammeh” lecture right after a fine Summer break. Myself and Yanal were the first to enter the lecture room, the one in the languages circle right to your left if you’re coming from the cafeteria. So, the room was empty, still a few minutes left till everyone starts flocking in. As we’d entered the room, a cold breeze carressed us through the open windows. This refreshment instigated Yanal to stand still, spread his arms wide and cry out “AIRRRRRRRY”. “Airy” being an English word that means windy etc. What Yanal didn’t take note of was the fact that our teacher “Farooq” was right behind us. To teacher Farooq, the word “airy” had quite a different meaning. He grinned, held a hand up to his mouth and said “Yanal!”.

The best part was afterwards as I banged my head against my desk laughing at Yanal’s relentless attempts to explain the missunderstanding, continuing to spam the place with the same word over and over again.

Tales of Yore #3: The Fall of 6am6am

For some reason, only events that have to do with sport are finding their way into my consciousness.

This one occurred as we were participating in Amman Al Thanyeh basketball tournament. Our school’s team had Slvador, 6am6am and myself as members. Now, this thingy was taking place in Tla3 al 3ali GYM hall. We were the only partially private school to partake in this tournament. Needless to say that we were easily told apart from the rest of the teams and audience by our looks. So we were already somewhat scrutinized.

Now, in our second game 6am6am was playing as a Center. Someone from our team shoots and misses the basket. So 6am6am jumps up for the rebound and somehow loses his balance midair and falls down. The problem was that, as 6am6am was hitting the ground, ass-down, he let out the most ghastly howl ever! He actually howled in the same way a doleful wolven-damsel faced by an army of green-black robots with really huge antennas and chainsaws for arms would howl.

The crowd responded the same way they’d do if they were watching a strip dance and some major piece of clothing was just removed. Our GYM teacher’s face was falling freely to meet his right palm. I was checking the side door to see if we still had a patent exit out of the place.

Ye, was no end of fun back then.

Tales of Yore #2: Tears of “Owner”

This happened sometime during 11th grade. We had a basketball match against one of the 10th graders teams. It was the school’s intramural Basketball tournament and with the Tawjihi people out of the way we had a chance at getting gold. I remember the team consisting of myself, Slvador, 6am6am, Masri and 5th member which kept coming on and off. The starter was Deya2, though.

The game was happening in the school’s GYM hall with some crowd, mainly people who had miserable lives and nothing else better to do than watch a basketball game. Midway through the game, Malek came asking me to participate in the match. I can’t remember why but I kinda told him that I wouldn’t want that happening and he actually took to his heels and ran out, as I figured out later, with tears in his eyes. Apparently, some girl he was intending to impress was amongst the audience that day.

In a strike of irony, I remember 7neiti playing in some other basketball game for the exact same reason. He was a starter and after his first go, in which he failed to even hit the board, Slvador/6am6am chased him out of the hall.

I guess apologies are due to Malek. Sorry!

Jubilee Graduates Soccer Tournament

There will be a soccer contest amongst teams from the different classes that have graduated from Jubilee School. For some reason it’s not gonna happen at Jubilee school. I really would like us to join but I’m not sure if we can muster 8 people in the given time. What is the possibility that we can get Yanal and 7neiti to leave whatever the hell they have at hand and come join us on that day?

Whatever happens, it’s very unlikely that we’ll lose 1-1 again, ye?