Friday, May 26, 2006

Abu Shreek: The College Idiot

Abu Shreek's 4-year collegiate experience was so uneventful and so unproductive. His main activities were endless daily marathons of Trix and Tarneeb (cards), constant complaining and expressing of disgust, and wasted days around the Square (early in his career), Cafeteria il Handaseh (copying homework and lab reports), and (Koshk il Handaseh, bi idarett Nader Jdoo3: the engineering mini-mart under the management of Nader).
Abu Shreek convinced himself that by participating in every student demonstration, rally and protest, he is fulfilling his duties as a “college student”, and sometimes he actually thought he may be making a difference. Some of these events were more memorable than others:

The “Quds” Support Rally.
As most of the student “gatherings” to follow, this one was organized by the “Shyookh” (On- campus Islamic Party members; most of them are below-average academically, and they look much older than their fellow students (maybe it is the beard, maybe it is the late graduation), and in spite of the differences in ideology and agendas,in general they were very nice and "good peoples" .
As we marched towards Borj il Sa3a (the sight of the event), amazed by-standers observed curiosly from the square. The crowd’s count was respectable, thanks to the large number of sisters marching behind a much smaller number of male participants. In later years I learned that this phenomenon is referred to as “Sila7 il Mo7ajjabatt” or “the egg trays”.(With all due respect to the courageous sisters, the visual simile is very funny).
The event featured a number of speakers, until it got disturbed by a student who started reciting a verse of the poem “Al Quds 3aroos 3orabatikom”, opening with (abna2 al ka7bati la astathni minkom a7adan: Oh, you all sons of bitches with no exceptions (loose translation)). The event had to be stopped to explain to the disgruntled and ignorant crowd, who wrote the poem and to whom its harsh word were directed.
Abu Shreek retrieved back to his headquarters under the tee in the square,secretly wondering what would have happened if the speaker kept reciting till he reached the Syphilis part.

“The General Union for Jordanian Students” Rally.
This one was scheduled to leave campus (a big No-No) and head towards the close by “Ministry of Higher Education”. This was easily the biggest demonstration in terms of Security and anti-riot police outside of the locked main gate. Riot vans extended across the length of (share3 il jam3ah). The in-position, ready for combat riot police outnumbered the students by a ratio of 4 to 1. Water hoses and attack dogs with their handlers were positioned right outside of the gate. A fantabulous scene. As usual we settled for staying inside and after the whole situations were diffused Abu Shreek caught a scandalously-veiled girl talking to a journalist. (The scandalously-veiled girl: usually wearing a ton of make up, usually her name is (Mairvatt), and she is often covering her head but showing just enough cleavage). Abu Shreek was very annoyed to hear her jeopardize the students’ efforts by claiming that she does not care for the “Union” and she does not think it is necessary. Abu Shreek interrupted her, showed his displeasure with the excessive “crowd control” forces, and went home with a false feeling of accomplishment.

“The Computer fees tuition hike”
The school implemented a JD20 increase in tuition as “computer fees” to start “the thousand computers project”. Nothing seemed wrong with the idea, but the fear was that once a series of tuition hikes begins, it will not be stopped, until the whole concept of “free education” is destroyed. One can understand how justified the objection to the new fee was, when you realize how the wealthy elite managed to sneak their kids into governmental universities, depriving poorer, yet more deserving, students from these seats. In addition to the injustice, the overall quality of education at those once-respectable schools is being compromised.
Anyway, we tried to break the locked front gates, but we were met with water cannons (very nice, I did not even know we had those), and out-numbering ganawee (crowd control devices). We backed off, and the situation was diffused by (Al Nae2bb Ma7mood Al Kharabsheh : Senator Gratified Doodles) a former internal intelligence officer!!
Abu Shreek took off his (highly invested in) sweatshirt and jumped to confront the water cannon and pushed against the gates. He never washed his pink-stained white T-shirt. it turned out that they use pink water to mark demonstrators, so that they can "collect" them later

The Second Intifada Series
As the second intifada erupted in Palestine, demonstrations were a daily occurrence inside and outside school. They could not lock the students in anymore, so they allowed us to march up and down (share3 il jam3a: University Drive). The most interesting event was that organized by “the lefty and progressive parties” in the university. It was apparent that no such thing existed since the number of (mokhabarat: secret intelligence personnel (loose translation)) embedded among participant outnumbered the participants 3 to 1.
Still the whole experience had some bright spots. The whole attitude was different and unique. A different collection of songs and yells. It was the first “mixed” rally, where we walked side-by-side to our (Rafeeqat; female comrades), all six of them. When we reached a key intersection we refused to be re-routed and kept yelling (3al safara 3al safara bidna ni7rig il safara: we are heading to the Israeli embassy to burn it down). When the riot police blocked our route toward (il safara) we lined up across the street and sat down, blocking traffic in one of the city's busiest streets. We barely formed two lines but we managed to cause a traffic jam.

The officer in charge ran out of patience within 30 minutes and ordered a limited “run”. Within 5 seconds we were running in 15 different directions, knocking down side-mirrors by the dozens. (When you are being chased, you really cannot afford to maneuver around cars, you run straight). When we regrouped the march leftovers we were 7-10 guys left.
Abu Shreek lead the remaining “crowd” in a free-styling, zaffeh-like song that featured improvised versus making fun of the riot police in a sarcastic, mildly confrontational way.
Abu Shreek felt stupid, hopeless and juvenile.

6 comments:

Batir Wardam said...

I love your blog man, you are a great addition to our community, keep on the good work.

Abu Shreek said...

Batir, thank you. Proud and encouraged by your comment.

moi said...

I enjoyed reading about these examples of student activism in Jordan. It seems that most of the college students who blog from Jordan are either apathetic or just sick of the system and see no hope in changing it. I'm the type that would jump into these protests because I believe that they are effective in some ways, coupled with other forms of proactive action. I've never done this in the Arab world, but I'm used to protests and marches like that here in the US. I think it would be a totally different experience especially because of the abuse that you all face (dogs for god's sake!). That makes me feel like I'm too privileged, that I shouldn't be proud of myself for participating in a protest b/c I don't have to face anything close to what millions of people across the world face from such oppressive regimes when attempting to raise their voices.

Anonymous said...

senator gratified doodles, kahkahkahkah-keheeee, more like glorified doodles for a more exact translation and discription, crab-shit also to some of us, but from now will adopt my rendition of yours. thanks for the laughs

Anonymous said...

not the first mixed demo, but memory is written nowhere of this sort of thing. once in 1986, we marched on the american embassy near 3ed circle then. one unlucky very short-high heeled female comrade could not outrun those in hot persuit, and she had mistakenly run with the guys towards the circle, instead of with the gals into the intercontinental, was captured and her father refused to free her except after much begging lasting days and days by comrades as she was a muhajaba at home and took it off at university, she was caught without it. the demo was to oppose usa agression against libya---

Ahmed Ashraf said...

رئيسية الموقع :
مصر اليوم
اخر مواضيع منتديات مصر اليوم :
ترددات قنوات النايل سات الجديدة
اسعار السيارات فى مصر 2012 بالصور

اسعار السيارات فى مصر 2012

مشاركة ارباح ادسنس

اهلا بكم , اضع لكم موقعى لتتطلعوا عليه

منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عامة تهتم بالكثير من الاشياء المصرية . منتديات مصر اليوم هى منتديات عربية عموما مصرية خصوصا و هى منتديات عامة تهتم بكل ما يهتم به الشباب المصرى من الحوار او النقاش او اخر الاخبار او جديد الصور و الاغانى و الالبومات و الكليبات و الافلام و النكت و الفيديوهات و الموبايلات و تحتوى على اقسام مميزة مثل قسم اللغة الانجليزية و قسم اصحاب المواقع و المنتديات و قسم البرامج و القسم الاسلامى و قسم المرأة و قسم الرومانسية و الرياضة المصرية و الكثير ....
شاهد اقسام المنتدى :
اخبار مصر صور نكت مصرية اغانى قنوات و ترددات اخبار الرياضة المصرية مشاهدة مباريات بث مباشر اسعار السيارات