Waking up in the morning for the first day of school, full of anxiety about which class he is going to be in; is it the one with the same friends he had last year or is it a new one? He goes to school and finds out that it was the same exact class with the same classmates he had last year.
He looks around to find if the desk in the middle of the first row was still empty; to sit there as his parents told him. So, he won’t daydream during classes as usual. He sees two girls already booked it so he goes to the desk behind them and book his place.
The teachers come and go every period till the religion class comes and the Arabic teacher – who also teaches the religion class – asks for Christians to go out to their religion class. He goes out with 4 other students and on his way he keeps thinking “I was chosen to be different, maybe that is better”.
On the way from his class to the religion class curiosity was killing him to know what is going on in his own class behind his back. He started a whole dialogue in his mind to figure it out..
“Why can’t they tell us everything so we would know more stuff instead of knowing only a half of what is being told”
“Maybe it is harmful for us to learn two religions at a time and they know better”
“But I love my church and I will never leave it no matter what, I don’t even want to go to any other church other than the one I know ’cause I feel like it is my second home”
“If there was something wrong, then my parents would have did something ’cause they know better and they would want the best for me”
“Anyway, we finish our class earlier than them and afterwards there is the lunch break so I would have more time to play which is always good”
He reaches his religion class to hear his teacher complaining that the ministry of education didn’t send school the Christian religion books on time as usual. The boy keeps asking questions like “Will the Pharaohs go to heaven or hell?” and keep on debating with the teacher till the class ends early as expected, he enjoys his break and goes back to the normal class.
Standing in the line to enter the class, he asks his class mate Youmna -who sits behind him in class- about what they learned during their class
“We are going to heaven, it is ours and you will go to hell”, she said
“No, that can’t be true! I learned that if I loved everyone, helped the poor and obeyed God and my parents I will go to heaven. Who told you that?”, he replied while being sarcastic
“The teacher told us so, if you are not a Muslim then you will go to hell”, she said while smiling.
He shuts up and enters the class trying to solve the paradox he just got into and his mind fades away during classes -as usual- as he keeps asking and replying to himself again.
“The teachers know everything, they are here to teach us everything we should know. How come they say that I’m going to hell? they don’t even know me”
“Maybe that is what they say so that we won’t think of changing our religions later”
“But this is unfair, a teacher shouldn’t lie. Why can’t everyone who is good go to heaven? God is good and he can’t let good people go to hell ’cause they were chosen to attend another class” he realized that he might start to cry so he ends the conversation he made up to get back and focus on the class.
Finally, He decides not to talk about it at all, not even to mention it to his parents or to anyone; which is not what he is used to do, as he is well known for complaining about the tiniest thing and he would go to the end of the road to get it fixed.
The years pass by and he becomes 12 years old; when his little brother who was 8 tells him that his classmate told him “You are sinful cause you are a Christian”. Somehow on the second day he becomes full of rage running through the corridors thinking that he will never let his little brother go through the same situation again till he got to the woman who was responsible for the social services in school.
She was called Ms.Aziza, a young veiled woman with beautiful light green eyes who was known for being so kind in school.
“you teach them to hate Christians in class, my little brother is a kid and he should not be treated like this” he shouted, while his eyes were red and his voice wasn’t clear so she asks him to repeat slowly so she can understand.
He takes a deep breath to calm down from running all three floors to reach her and repeats his little brother’s story.
“Wait till this period ends, when the teacher finishes the class we will go to your brother’s class and find out what happened”, She said
“No, this can’t wait. My brother is in there sitting with the boy who insulted him and he is waiting to see that boy being told that he was wrong so everyone in class would learn”
she takes him to his brother’s class, stops the the teacher from continuing the class and asks his brother to stand up and point at the student who told him so.
The student stood up. So, she asked him “Who told you that Christians are sinful”
“My parents”, the student replied
“Well, ask them to come to school tomorrow with you because this is wrong and you can never say that to anyone” she said and went out of the classroom while the 12 year old boy was standing beside the door to watch.
She took the 12 year old boy by the hand, assured him that she won’t let it pass and that this kind of talk is not and will not be tolerated by the school.
Although she was nice and everything but the boy wasn’t satisfied enough, so he took the matter to his parents and kept shouting so that they would do something as they were always lazy to go to school to see what is going on.
Well, It didn’t end as expected.. parents are still teaching their children to hate anyone who is different. Teachers keep teaching their point of views instead of sticking to the curriculum which is horrible as well but not as horrible as some of their views!
Now this 12 year old boy is almost 22 writing this post, maybe people would understand how tiny educational mistakes might affect a kid.