Every morning for five years, Driss helped his father's workers to take care of the farm animals before carrying a plastic bag as a satchel to school four miles from the farm. Each day at 5 p.m. he returned home to help out on the farm again. He was forbidden to open his notebooks to revise at night because he had to get up early to help on the farm before leaving for school.
His family's idea of the boy's future is to grow up, then quit school, work on the farm and get married with his sole qualification of knowing how to write his name and surname. In the kid's mind, he must study to become a pilot or a doctor or both.
His wish to become a pilot came from his meeting, on the way to school, with a woman who told him about her pilot son by pointing a plane in the sky. His desire to become a doctor came to him from his uncle who repeatedly told stories about the skills, the kindness, the wealth of all the doctors he has consulted in his life.
Every September at the start of the school year there was discussions about whether the boy was continuing school or not, each time it ended with screaming and crying and at the end they agreed to buy some notebooks and pens for the school year.
Five years after the boy passed a national exam to go to college. Therefore, he must leave the farm and go to the next town. The farm will lose a worker and the boy will cost the family money because he will live away from them. The discussion lasted most of the summer until one day his uncle showed up at the farm with a bag of medicine and handed the boy a handwritten medical prescription asking him to explain the doctor's conclusions about his condition.
The boy was not unable to read a word of this medical prescription. The uncle laughed at him in front of all family's members and added the boy should continue studying because he is far from becoming a doctor. Then his mother decided the boy should continue to attend school until he acquires the knowledge necessary to understand a medical prescription.
He went home every vacation. He told his family stories at mealtimes: stories of opposing political currents and ensuing wars, stories of conquest of one country by another, the existence of several civilizations from several continents, thousands of languages spoken in the world. He opened their imaginations beyond the mountains that surround their farm by repeating what he had learned in school, scientific stories where he explained the solar system, the galaxies, and that the stars are suns and there are billions of them in billions of galaxies.
The adolescent becomes the sources of knowledge of this lost farm, the source of information which fills the lack of radio and television. The boy won the hearts of his family and won the lifetime ticket to go to school no matter what. It became very difficult for his family when it is time for him to leave home for school after the holidays, especially the summer holidays where he helpes a lot on the farm.
Seven years passed when the young man graduated from high school and enrolled in the university with no one on the farm knowing what kind of study he was pursuing. Without delaying on his daily life, every school year, he wore the same shirt, the same pants, the same shoes and cut his hair once a year. Despite his repeated successes in his studies, the boy felt lonely every time he left his family to go to school, it broke his heart. The exams scared him because he had to pass, but he never complained. In the minds of his family and friends, the boy is smart but in his own mind, he was not. His success comes from his hard work.
Five years later, the boy announced to his family that he has obtained an excellence scholarship to prepare his doctorate in a foreign country about 1600 miles away from the farm. In the spirit of his kin the boy will become a doctor.
His family bought him clothes, a suitcase, a plane ticket and gave him $ 442. The departure was difficult for him and his family. But for him, the feeling of going to a foreign country, discovering a new culture and meeting other scientists outweighed his sadness. He did not see his family for three years, the only contact he had with them was the phone from time to time. He never spoke about the difficulties he encountered in keeping his family out of trouble.
Four years later, the young man defended his PhD thesis in mathematics. He never told his parents and no one knew that he was graduated and started working as an associate professor at an university in the same country. His great satisfaction comes from sending money to his family to help them buy food, medicine and for the education of his siblings and every summer he visited them and had good time with them.
One day he saw a doctor for the flu. The doctor gave him a printed medical prescription written on his computer. This time he managed to read the prescription clearly. It wasn't that kind of handwritten prescription that only pharmacists can decipher.
He dialed his father's number to tell him that he finally managed to read a prescription even though he still couldn't understand it. They laughed together, and his father told him that he is an amazing boy and he is proud of him because he made it out of the farm. His father explained to him that he knew that the road was difficult and that the medical prescription was a challenge which helped him to overcome any difficulties.
Thanks to an illegible medical prescription, Driss currently teaches and does research at the university. He has three children of his own. He pushes them hard to study but like him, they hate studies, a secret that has never been revealed to anyone. For him, studies were a loophole to get rid of the chores of the farm.
(please forgive my english)