Seek Knowledge, even through a Pick-Up Truck


Enab Baladi Issue # 82 – Sunday August 15, 2013

اطلبو العلم ولو بواسطة بيك آب“37, 38, 39, 40…Are we done? Is everyone on board?   Yes… Go ahead. God be with you”

No we are not talking about potato sacks, assuming to begin with that potatoes are available. And we are not describing the vegetable market, Souq el-Hal. In reality though, we are documenting a similar scene.

This is the routine of Abu-Mohammad, the pick-up truck driver who transports children daily to school in one of the areas of the Damascus rural environs. They go to attend the summer camp authorized by the Minister of Education for students who could not attend school as their peers did in stable areas.

 A pick-up truck may not be the better means to transport students to their schools. Today however, it is the most important means of transportation that parents may have been looked down at just a couple of years ago. One father may have complained to the school principal about the old bus that transported his child to school, or whined about the fact that his son is not comfortable in the tight seat on the 15 minute journey from home to school.  You will be among the lucky few today if your son is a number in Abu-Mohammad’s pick-up truck.

Abu-Mohammad’s pick-up truck helps children remain alert and more ready to absorb their lessons in the morning. Standing up in the open air during the truck’s run to school, added to the pushing and pulling among students on board adds to the excitement and joy of the ride. The world’s buses cannot bring them a fraction of the happiness they feel as they sing to Abu-Mohammad on the way:

Driver, on the pedal please push hard

May god reward you with a bride!

Umm Anas observes this scene daily, and sees the joy in the students’ eyes. She says: “had Abu-Mohammad been able to bring the students to school in a dump truck, their happiness would have been unmatched as he empties his load piling them one on top of another at the school gate”.

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