By Hassan Bendouz
By Hassan Bendouz
Morocco World News
Agadir, Nov 14, 2012
When we were children we seldom lost track of the exact moments we were living. This instinctive innocence was a hyper magic power that set us free to enjoy ourselves with no worrying attachments to the future. Besides, we were taught in a way to picture God as an old wise Man, with a long beard, above clouds, doing nothing but watching us, and take notes of sinners and good deeds doers. Hitherto, whenever I talk to someone about God, in almost all monotheist religions, they all approach him as a punishing and rewarding powerful, just the same way we did as kids. Our childhood was painted with the vulnerable colors of our village, the sacredness of the Koranic school, and the authentic simplicity of our families.
Right from my early days of Koranic school, i still remember how most of us as “Koranic students” recited the Koran by heart without understanding a single word of it. Since we were all Amazigh native speakers, we found Arabic so challenging to read, write and understand at the age of five . What makes it, beyond our potential was the fact that we started learning Arabic through reciting a challenging and miraculous religious scripture namely the Holy Coran. More than this was the methodological approach based by our scholar, whose main pedagogical tools were a long stick to reach those at the back rows, and the nonstop mechanical drillings of the reciters who keep swinging their frail bodies right and left, back and forth. All what we were fully aware of, was that there is a genius creator named God, so high in skies observing our detailed gestures and reacting on the spot to our deeds. We took it for granted that we were there for a blessed mission, which was to recite, and obey the teacher’s instructions to-the-letter.
As kids, we never had a slight shadow of doubt that there were other planets, countries, or ways of living life apart from what we see, and witness in our remote village. Further than this, none among us as young children had any idea about the outside world. We had a clear cut vision that our small town was all there is. We doubtlessly thought that our beautiful hamlet was the heart of the universe, and the way we pray and worship God was the unique air that blows all over the globe.
Each Wednesday, there was a weekly market held in the center of our village, where both men and women from all the hills that surround us came to do their basic shoppings. On this special day, each one of the Koranic school pupils voluntarily offers an egg , or a 1 DH donation as a modest financial support to our scholar, So he can afford some money to purchase his vital needs on the market day. What was emotionally deep and true about this sacred relationship that tied us to our teacher was the fact that we had a divine respect for him. No matter how cruel he treated us while teaching; we kept faithful and obedient to him. Even our families rejected our complaining once it targeted the teacher’s violent behavior towards us. I still remember how my mother reacted one day when I showed her the marks of the stick traced on my infantile body when my teacher punished me. She said : Ohh son be sure that hell fire will never burn any single part of your body punished for the sake of getting knowledge. Right from that day, i enjoyed being punished, with the bare belief that it would maximize my chances to secure a place in heaven.
Strikingly remarkable were the busses of tourists that came from time to time to explore the mysteries of our customs and lifestyle especially during the shopping day. Our infantile touch as innocent beings was there too. As we got out of school, we used to follow tourists and keep staring at their wondering smiley faces, and their colorful short sleeveless clothes. With a complete inner awareness, even though we didn’t understand their language we felt these strangers are our sole bridge to cross to the other unseen worlds. Some of us managed to combine words from here and there and form some useful sentences in French or English Like: Give me a pen Please? Or UN dirham s’il vous plait. All these memorable events made me convinced that Whenever we feel homesick to go back to our old hometowns, we realize it wasn’t the old homes we missed but our childhood souvenirs.
After embarking the ship of adulthood, we started feeling that each step we get farther away from our childhood season was a profound part in our nature that gets removed from its roots. Indeed, it’s only kids that wisely taste the absolute truth that Life was meant to be lived. When we were young kids we had nothing, but we acted as if we had everything, because we had the freedom to do anything we dreamt of, without the panic of losing something. Now as adults, we live a world, where everything is fake and where unnecessary things become our only necessities.