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Paul Sima: The Year in Beirut (Part One) Added:18.6. 2010
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Paul Sima: The Year in Beirut (Part One)

„I fell into the deep end. I found myself in the middle of the night in a taxi in Beirut for a few moments I was sitting in the room with the Iranians and talk with him until morning, "recalls the beginning of their annual stay at the Lebanese American University of Beirut Paul Sima (23), student of journalism and political science Masaryk University. "And I did not know until the last moment, if I go. The fact that the candidates they chose me, I learned just two weeks before departure. “

** Have you ever a time for acclimatization, before she began teaching school? **

Approximately one week. I did nothing other than looking for an apartment, registered for a course or pay additional fees. But I must commend the progressive department that took care of foreign students. Ms. sat there from morning till six of seven evening and was always willing to help. We have prepared a welcome party and a university tutorial. However, this smooth and friendly relations with local officials ended. Ossified bureaucracy is annoying phenomenon across the Arab world.

** How much of Lebanon's alma mater was? **

On the whole the American University of Beirut (AUB) are four thousand students, a number of my students' home school. They have covered almost all fields like art, biology or social sciences and one year is far fewer students. Teaching is generally more personal than what I'm used to from Brno Faculty of Social Studies.

** Meet those intimate way of learning? **

Probably yes. What I enjoyed the discussions that took place much more vividly than in this country. But perhaps it was due to the fact that we have courses of which I speak were navybíraní foreign students so that they are real and active interest. The level of instruction has not equal my home university. At least not in the Department of Political Science, with which I have experienced. While in the Czech Republic to teach comparative, behaviorist and other research methods, the AUB all courses taught by a historical method. Presented by just saying, in this year's and this happened, and then it happened and he did it again and that it … The historical method in our lectures, but it will not build on her research.

** Did you know the basics of Arabic, before you traveled? **

He did not. When I left, I knew nothing. But when I returned, I was able to speak in Arabic as well as more complex topics. I still read the newspaper did not know, but I understand the spoken word. Language teachers were great at AUB, using progressive methods. Our teacher was very impulsive and able to hew out of sixty minutes maximum, and involve a lot of us. The test was such an example, we have prepared a sketch of how we packed the girls in a disco and we got credit.

** It was not difficult to learn Arabic? **

It's very complicated to understand. One thing can be said in several ways, but the dictionary does not help. Moreover, there is a codified literary Arabic, which is used in dozens of countries in newspapers and books, and each country also has its own form of language. We need to have two special courses libanonštinu and formal Arabic. Some Lebanese even claimed that the Lebanese Arabic is only spoken and not write it. Automatically used when writing formal Arabic.

** Can you say something today in Arabic? **

Yes, but the language generally neglected. After the daily teaching of Arabic in return I told her that if seknu, I'm an idiot. I gave it enough time! But it happened, what I feared. With a range of activities that I have, I have time to Arabic.

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„In the Palestinian refugee camp Shatilla, where the picture is, I volunteered teaching English Palestinians. In the same camp during the Civil War became a massacre that popularized the West, particularly last year's film, Waltz with Bashir.“ (Photo: Paul Šíma archive)

** We have seminars on water pipes? **

It's not. But the reputation of Arabs as náruživých smokers is warranted. Smoking where everybody – young girls, old grandma, everyone. And smoke is literally everywhere. One teacher even went to a restaurant teaching that the interpretation could smoke. But the biggest chew when you next to me on the bus passengers burned and the ashes odklepával of the window. It's none of the local perceive as something wrong. If I said I am a smoker, I'd be a European zhýčkaného. But hookahs I've enjoyed there. Arabs give depend on them to prepare well and use tiny bits of carbon. Each restaurant has a special porter, who takes care of the coals. It has tiny tweezers, and every few minutes to all attendees following coals, so pipes will last for hours. It works there and cheap imports water pipes while you wait. You call, ordering a flavor and a half hours to arrive guy with a water pipe, zakouříte the morning to leave it outside the door and the owner takes it back.

** Do not steal it to someone? **

It does not occur to anyone, because there is every home at least three water pipe.

** As you moved around Beirut, when smoking in buses? **

Bus routes there in fact do not work too. Instead of buses, which are not marked and not marked, or stop, there is mass use of more taxis. They are not expensive so use them all. But the taxi driver is trying to fill all the seats, so people with other passengers to get to your destination detour.

** I tasted tobacco in addition to Lebanon and Lebanese food? **

Lebanese food is absolutely amazing. The typical material is zátar, which is a spice that I have not noticed us yet, it is added to many dishes. My favorite was definitely the hummus. It is a paste that is served with Lebanese bread pancake. Even Lebanese sweets worth it, but it's awfully sweet, buttery smooth calorie bombs. In Arab countries, meeting with government culture of food. On the table bring different dishes and everyone gathers bread in pieces. It's very sociable, the more it encourages interaction.

  • (Continued conversation in the second part) *

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