September 05, 2009

Going Nowhere

We’re going places, I remember thinking when I just got back to Beirut, some two weeks ago. I suddenly spotted traffic lights in my neighborhood, and pedestrian crossings, and drivers heeding the red lights. It was a bit of fresh air. And although we don’t have a government yet, we don’t really fight about it either, and the elections went so nice and civilized, so I was thinking, yes, we’re definitely going places.
Lazy B., a beach some 17 km south of Beirut, at sunset today
A visit to the Ministry of Education (of all places) this morning, brought me back to reality. I needed to get a Dutch BA legalized, for reasons that still elude me, but fine, whatever, I’ll do it. I have never seen so many uneducated people gathered in one place. And they’re all working at the Ministry of Education. The Directorate of Higher Education, to be precise. HIGHER Education, did you get that?
And I am thinking, if these people are deciding on the Higher Education in this place, I’d rather not know about the regular education. Or any education at all, because with this bunch, we’re not going anywhere.

And it dawned on me why they search your bag when you go inside the Ministry. They’re afraid upset customers will come back with a vengeance. I sure felt like that after a while. But you have to keep smiling, never ever show you’re annoyed with their rudeness/incompetence/illogic,or they’ll just send you down and across the street for another copy, or another tawabeh (stamp), or another paper that they forgot to mention, or would like to see signed differently.

And so I went to the beach instead.
And I stayed there until sunset.

And I’ll try again next week.

Sister in law at the beach; 8.5 months pregnant.

4 comments:

angie nader said...

what a beautiful photo you took of your sister in law...it should be a baby book cover :)

so yeah...i had my experiances with the ministry of education as well. what really confuses me is how everything is done by paper....i mean there are those laarge books to record things...and i didnt see more than a few people with very old computers. haha...thats lebanon for you.

angie nader said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liliane said...

I have never seen so many uneducated people gathered in one place. And they’re all working at the Ministry of Education.

LMAO! Oh yeah I know what you're talking about, I personally hate going to "daweyir el rasmiyeh" I feel like I want to hire someone to do all that for me! But well said, keep a smile on your face and wish the person dealing with you had slept on the right side of the bed the night before

Jad Aoun said...

I've had the exact same experience back in 2003. Every time I pass by that place, it sends shivers down my spine. Somethings never change, I guess.

Good luck next time around.