Back to work

Today, for the first time since the birth of Miriam Damascus, I got paid to work.

I'm teaching a class at Amideast, the same company I worked for in Damascus. It's an English class for young professionals. Their English ability is actually about the same as the teenagers I taught in Syria, but the students are a little older. I am very excited to be working again, even though it's only a couple of times a week. I have missed interaction with the young, bright students I had in Damascus - even though we're speaking in English, I still think it gives a special insight into the culture. If nothing else, it gives an insight into these particular students' lives. And that is always an enriching experience.

The interesting thing is observing the differences between Amideast in Syria and Amideast here. In Syria, there was only one rule I was told to abide by: in class, we were not to talk about sex, religion, or politics. Everything else was ala keefik - 'as you like it.'

Here, the teacher whose class I'm taking over (thus the sudden hiring) was actually fired for culturally insensitive behavior. And there's a massively strict dress code, even stating that any manicures, perfume, or jewelry must be "discreet." It's not that I disagree with a dress code that prohibits tight trousers, sleeveless shirts, and flip flops. It's just that I didn't expect to find one at such a western-oriented establishment.

Nonetheless, I am so happy to be teaching again.