The Way Things Work

I was out sick from work today, but in order to not have my pay cut, I needed a doctor’s note. Which means that I had to go to the hospital, with whom the school has connections.

One of the school drivers, took me to the hospital. We walked right past the Asaish officers, through multiple waiting rooms, and into a beautiful office. Multiple dark-leather chairs and couches lined the walls, surrounding a huge, ornate desk. A smiling man sat behind the desk talking on the phone.

When we entered, he put down the phone and asked me how I was feeling. Headache? Sore throat? Fever? He took notes on a pad of paper.

Then he asked me my name. “Rachel,” I said.

“Ms. Rachel?! Do you know a Meer?”

“He’s my student!”

“He’s my son!”

Oh, great. The son of one of the most important men in Suli is in my class. Thank goodness Meer’s a sweetheart, and his dad seems reasonable, mash’allah.

He handed a prescription order to the driver, who disappeared to get the pills, and asked me how long I wanted to be off work. I told him just a day, and he looked at me, said, “As you like,” and scribbled a note for me to take to the school director.

Then, Meer’s father proceeded to order me tea and show me pictures of Meer on his iPhone. It was so strange to see pictures of one of my students with his parents, on an iPhone, in this man’s hospital. Worlds collide. But, really, everyone here is so connected that the worlds were never separate.

Wasta, right?

P.S. I have twins in my class with the last name “Barzan.” The current president is named Barzani, and his family really does run all of Kurdistan. I was joking with my friend and asked him whether I should be cautious of these two students because of their name.

He stops, looks me dead in the eye, and says, “Yes.”

Man, this is another world.

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