I still clearly remember my first days in primary school. I remember how exciting it was to be sitting at a strange desk facing a large blackboard which we could hardly reach. The students were pretty and everything was tidy in that old school. I still have in my mind the image of those great, ancient olive trees, which gave a very magnificent and marvelous setting to the school.
What was more exciting was the wonderful marks which I got at the end of the year and how surprising it was. I was so afraid of failing, but when the teacher entered the class that day, holding in his hands the exam result papers and showing his brilliant wide grin. He joked about the results of the exam, and then he drew a palm tree on the blackboard. He drew three people climbing that tree; one on the top, one in the middle, and another near the bottom. He solved this mystery by saying the one on the top of the tree is Khalid, i.e. I was at the top of the class. This was the most beautiful thing I ever heard in my life, and its power gave me the courage and enthusiasm which I still feel in my academic life today.