Hide yo kids, hide yo wife

For the last three days, I’ve been listening to my third-graders repeating, “Hussein is running down the bitch.”

Now, this means two things:
1. The teachers’ strike is finally over.
2. We really need to work on the difference between “b” and “p.”

Regarding the first: School started on February 6th, but actually school started on February 21st, thanks to the teachers being on strike. They were striking because apparently, they only receive 70% of their yearly salary. I don’t really understand it, but the government was withholding 30% of their salary. The gov’t said they didn’t have the money to stop this year, but eventually compromised and said they’d give 20% more this year and the full 30% next year. Pretty good compromise in my opinion. But the union basically gave them the finger. And yet… when they finally relented, instead of 20/10, they got 15/15. So the teachers are getting 15% more this year than last year, but 5% less than the gov’t initially agreed to give them. Uh, good try.

In addition to that, it was the most disorganized strike I’ve seen. By day three, only half of the schools and teachers were still striking. In some schools, some teachers were striking and some weren’t… The gov’t sent in retired teachers and teachers working in the military to try to keep classes going, but that didn’t go over too well. Oh well, it’s done now.

Regarding point two, Hussein running down the bitch: does that give you an odd image in your head? ‘Cause it does for me. In fact, this is what it makes me think of oddly enough:

See, there’s no “p” in Arabic, so most kids can’t pronounce it. And apparently “pitch” is a British-ism meaning “we’re too classy to just call the grassy area a field so we’re going to noun this verb and confuse the Americans.” Or something to that effect.

With that in mind, here’s how it went down today, on day three:

Me: “Everyone, repeat after me. ‘Hussein is running down the pitch.'”
Students: “Hussein is running down the bitch.”
Me: “Hussein is running down the pitch.”
St: “Hussein is running down the bitch.”
Me: “Pitch.”
St: “Bitch.”
Me: “Puh-puh-puh-pitch.”
St: “Bitch.”
Me: “Puh-puh-puh-pitch.”
St: “Pppppeach.”
Me: “Almost! Pitch!”
St: “Bitch!”
Me: “Very good.”

Welcome to my world. Now just a little PSA for ya, don’t be running down any bitches, now, ’cause that ain’t right.


5 Responses

  1. Maybe Hussein can run down the beach? -Auntie Mari

  2. HaaaaaaaHaaaaaaaHaaaaa! xoxo Mommy

  3. Great story, Claire. But, what are they trying to teach the children? Is it the same Hussein that we all knew and dearly hated or is it a generic Hussein who might be a nice neigbor.

    Love you, Mema

    PS Love the daily photo, looking toward the west bank.

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