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Class Ends Early, English Major Only One Disappointed

September 5, 2006

Today was my first day of classes. Now my Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday schedule is rather light (one class at 12 which I just signed into, so I didn’t go to it today and another at 1 p.m.), but I was really excited for my Modern Arabic Lit in Translation class. So much so that I went to the bookstore and bought all the books, and was especially excited that among the selections was a short story collection from Taleb Salih, who wrote one of my all-time favorite books, Seasons of Migration to the North.

I arrive to the class early. Because it’s in translation, the class has a much higher ratio of study abroad students (about half study abroad, half egyptian). A few people complain about the heat, but then the professor walks in and says:

“Ahlan. I am Mohammed (did catch his last name). This class is not Arabic Literature. It is Arabic literature in translation. I have not prepared a syllabus for today. Class is cancelled on Thursday, so we will meet next on Sunday… who can tell me anything you know about Arabic literature?”

A few study abroad students throw out some names they know. One Egyptian student remembers a poet from the pre-Islamic period. Back to Mohammed:

“Excellent. We will have an overview of Arab literature before we get into the modern period. Okay.”

And then the class gets up and leaves. The study abroad students are slightly bumfuddled, but they follow suit. I sit in my chair for a minute, shocked, wanting to call after the professor, “But…but…what about the contests of poetry in the jamiyllah period? Taleb Salih? MAHFOUZ, THE NOBEL LAUREATE?”

But alas, no more of literature until Sunday. I’ll be here, reading the Taleb Salih.

One Comment leave one →
  1. Karly permalink
    September 5, 2006 8:33 am

    I’m loving reading your blog! Gotta love Africa and…. unreliability?

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