A strict and monotonous life. Yet, it is in such a generous environment, warm tenderness and rigorous discipline that boys grow into men.
Classes began in early November. I had to register myself. Mr. Littman said he would help me out. I was expecting the problems and complications that our students face at the American University. My daughter Mayya was left in tears after the huge hassle she had registering.
I walked with Mr. Littman into a spacious hall with vault roofing similar to those roofs we have in Lebanon. Renowned German philosopher Hegel used to lecture in that centuries-old building. Some walls were blanketed with green moss. There was no one in the room save an old man sitting behind a decaying table. There was only one chair. When he saw Mr. Littman, the old man assumed an upright military posture and bowed in respect. The amount of reverence paid to university professors was unusual, highly unusual. ‘At your beck and call, Sir,’ he said. ‘Here is a Lebanese student who wishes to enroll at the university. He will be among my students,’ Mr. Littman replied.
The registrar sat down and reached for a pocket-size notebook with worn-out papers. ‘Your name?’, he asked.
-Freicha?! How do you spell it?
Littman stepped in to help him spell the name.
-Do you have any corroborative documents that entitle you to enroll?
- I have a Masters degree from the University of Chicago. Mr. Littman explained to him the meaning of such a degree, for he had taught for some time at the Princeton University.
-This degree qualifies him for admission, said Mr. Littman.
The registrar complied and wrote down the courses proposed by Mr. Littman: Aramaic language, Hebrew language, Archaeology and History of Art.