9 July 2008

A typical class in civil studies

Teacher: Today is Independence Day. What are we celebrating?
Student A: The Jewish victory!
Teacher: Good. What else?
Student B: The expulsion of Palestinians from this land.
Student A: Yes, I heard of them. Palestinians.
Teacher: We used to be part of that people, but not anymore.
Student B: So who are we?
Teacher: To tell you the truth, I’m not really sure. Some claim we are Israelis. Others say we are traitors.
Student C: What about the Nakba?
Teacher: Shut your mouth! Can you find anything about it in our books?
Student C: No, but not everything is written in history books.
Teacher: Everything you need to know, everything the Master wants you to know, is written down for you in these books. You must not know anything else!
Student B: So was there a Nakba?
Teacher: I thought I made it clear to you! Repeat after me: There was no Nakba. There was no Nakba!
Class: There was no Nakba.
Teacher: We suffer from an inherent social inferiority.
Class: We suffer from an inherent social inferiority.
Teacher: Only our Master has the right to educate us. We are not able to write our own history books, because we have no history. We have to learn the history of the Master, because we live under his mercy. Tomorrow we will continue and we will read some of the poems of the great national poet.
Student A: Wow! Will we really be studying national poets?
Teacher: Of course, it’s in the curriculum.
Student A: I hope it will be Gassan Kanafany.
Teacher: What did you say?! I told you, a national poet!
Student A: I thought Kanafany was a national poet.
Teacher: He was a traitor! For tomorrow, please read the first two poems by Hayyim Nahman Bialik in your literature books, and we will discuss the historical events related to his poems so you have a better understanding of the history of the Master.
Student C to student A: Kanafany, what a weird name. Bialik sound much more poetic.
Student A: Yeah, I guess so… I hope he is at least as good as Kanafany.

(c) All rights reserved for Khulud Khamis (2008)