Schools throughout the region vary hugely depending on the country, location and type of school, but we listed a few unifying things that most of them have in common. If you received your primary education somewhere in the Arab world, you may be familiar with some of the following references:
1) Your parents or teachers always told you that eating “zait o za’atar” (oil and thyme mixture) in the morning would make you smarter. Not sure if that ever worked, but I think most of us believed it might so we consumed our body weight in za’atar.
2) Your primary weapon in school was the ballpoint pen. After removing the cartridge, paper clips became ammunition and the pen’s body became the primary tool used to tease fellow students and sometimes even teachers.
3) You probably spent some time with your face against the wall because you forgot your homework or talked during a lecture. Awful, awful torture that seriously makes you regret your neglectful ways.
4) Since there is no “p” in Arabic, English words with the letter became “b”. “Can of Bebsi, blaying in the bark, lots of beoble in the classroom.”
5) Crushed soda cans were not trash, they were footballs to be used to play during (the very short) breaks between classes or at recess. Arab students were very resilient and found ways to make use of the most random objects!
6) You actually knew what the Hijri date was.
Did you attend school somewhere in the MENA region? What things do you remember about it? Tell us in the comments below!