Friday, June 15, 2007

Bomb Blast (Bombenanschlag)


You may have heard that on Wednesday, June 14th, a big bomb exploded in Beirut between two beach clubs (Strandclubs). It killed at least ten people, including a Member of Parlament and his son.

The bomb exploded less than 2 kilometers from my apartment and it broke windows over 500 meters away.

Some of my pupils were swimming at the beach club! Fortunately, none of them were hurt.

My mother and I went to see where the bomb exploded and I took a picture.

People here are of course worried. But life goes on...

My mother is visiting me here. She loves Beirut!

We have been seeing many things together. We visited old friends she had here when we lived in Beirut in 1974-75. We went to the mountains south of Beirut to a nice town called Beit Mery and we went swimming at the Riviera Club.

She also visited me at school, and last week she taught all my classes! She told my pupils about when the Second World War ended and what she remembers about when the Americans came into her town (Waldfischbach) and then when the French occupation (Besatzung) came. My pupils were very interested: they had never heard about that before!

Today we are going to Byblos: a small city north of Beirut. Byblos was an ancient Phoenician city where many books were produced. The word "Bible" (Bibel) comes from the name of that city.

On June 19th I return to Germany!

Until soon!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Last Few Weeks

Marhaba everyone!

I'm sorry it has been a long time, but I've been quite busy and did not know what to write!

At the end of April I went to Cyprus (Zypern) for two days. It was very nice: the weather was sunny and the beach was good and I got to practice my Greek (kal' imera!)

My classes have kept me very busy. Now the last few weeks of school are coming and my students (and I) have a lot to do. I am teaching my ninth grade about the ancient Greeks (next week: Alexander the Great) and I will teach my tenth grade about Germany and Otto von Bismarck!

Next year I will be an advisor for "Model United Nations" (So eine UNO bestehend aus Schüler/innen aus aller Welt). The students debate about issues and vote on resolutions). Two or three times we will travel to other countries and meet students from other countries.

As you may have heard, the last seven days have been a little disturbing here in Lebanon. There is an extreme Palastinian group causing trouble in the north and a few bombs went off in Beirut. One bomb exploded about 1 kilometer from where I live.

Many of my friends are worried about me, but I do not feel so unsafe. The school is open and I walked around the city a bit today. Everyone is concerned, but also hopeful that things will calm down (sich beruhigen).

I am coming to Germany for five weeks beginning June 19th, so maybe I can come by Gymnasium Edenkoben (?). So maybe we will see each other soon!

Maa salameh!

Monday, April 23, 2007

A Trip South (eine Reise in den Süden)

On Sunday I went with 31 ACS students to a partner school in southern Lebanon.

The school is in the village of Sch' ataya near the city of Tyre in southern Lebanon.

The ACS students painted the interior walls (Innenwände) with cartoon characters and played with the children who came to welcome us.

Across the street from the school there is a little hair salon.

I spoke with some of the men. Two of them work in Germany and we spoke German!

Then I decided to have my hair cut: the barber (Frisör) did a good job!

Well, I'll write again soon.
Marhaba aus Libanon!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Field Day at ACS


This week is the second week of "Spirit Week" at the ACS.

Every day students -and teachers - compete in many events (streiten in Wettbewerbe) like Tug-of-War (Tauziehen), Arm-Wrestling (Arm-Ringen), Chess (Schach), etc...

On Wednesday afternoon (12-17 UHR) we held "Field Day" (Spielfeldtag).
Teams competed in:




Soccer (Fussball)

... and

Wall-Painting (Mauer-malen)

The students sold good food!

All the students had a lot of fun!

And I did too!

Maybe your school would do something like this?

Until soon!

Grüsse aus Beirut!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

A Walk around Beirut

On Sunday I took a long walk around Beirut.

The weather was very nice and warm!

I walked along the coast towards the south to "Pidgeon Rock" (Taubenfels). Many people go there.

An American tourist took a picture of me there!

To the south of the city the beaches begin. There aren't many people on the beach now, but the weather is quite nice and by May the beaches will be crowded!

Yesterday I walked downtown (zur Stadtmitte) and saw some Roman ruins!

The ruins are of Roman baths in "Berytus" (so hieß Beirut damals!).

Well, I'll walk around some more and show you more pictures soon.

Let me know what you would like to know about!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Spirit Week at the ACS

This week is "Spirit Week" at the ACS.

Every day students -and teachers! - dress to a different theme (sich entsprechend eines Thema anziehen).

Monday was "Pyjama Day" (Schlafanzug-Tag).
I wore my pyjama top (Oberteil).

Tuesday was "Crazy Hair Day". One of the students sprayed silver color in my hair.

Wednesday was Costume Day. Students dressed like famous people or cartoon characters (like Minnie Mouse or Superman).

Here is a picture of me!

At lunch time there was a "fashion show" of the costumes.

Students gathered in the courtyard (Hof) and watched people show what the wore.

Some students also sold pizza to earn money for their class.

I also held the first meeting of the German Club.

We talked about what we would like to do.

Maybe we will also plan a trip to Germany!

Well, Friday is the last day, then... Easter Vacation!

Monday, March 19, 2007

Living in Beirut

Beirut is a great place for food and entertainment!
Shops have everything you could want. Many clothing stores stay open until after 9 pm. There are many restaurants offering Lebanese, American, French, Chinese food and Sushi!

Many snack stands (Imbissbuden) sell sandwiches and salads, and you can buy a BIG sandwich for 1,50 - 2 EUR !

Lebanese sandwiches are similar to (ähneln) Turkish sandwiches, but there is a very large variety. They are made in many different ways. They taste very good!

You can also get other sandwiches too.

Near my apartment there is a "Dominoes Pizza" (US-Pizza-Kette) place, a McDonalds, a Burger King and a Subway sandwich shop. A Starbucks coffee shop is also not far away.

There are also drink-stands selling BIG glasses of fresh-squeezed (frisch gepresste) fruit juices - orange, kiwi, pomegranate (Granatapfel), banana, pineapple (Ananas), mango, etc. - for less than one EUR.

Even the price of gasoline (Benzin) is very low - only about $2,60 per Gallon (nur etwa 0,50 EUR pro Liter). But I am not eager (ich bin nicht scharf drauf) to drive here. They drive crazy here and you have to be careful when crossing a street!

At night there are many pubs, clubs, discos and restaurants open until 2 or 3 am! The Lebanes like to have entertainment and they don't let politics keep them from having fun.

I like to go to the "Hard Rock Cafe" on Friday nights because then they have karaoke. Yes, I sing one or two songs when I go!

Of course I do actually work and need to prepare lessons for the week now.

By the way (übrigens), I am also forming a German Club (Deutschklub) at the school. Many students are interested.

Germany and Germans enjoy a good reputation (geniessen einen guten Ruf) here.

Well, I will say more later!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

More about the school!

So... here I am again... finally!

And here I am with the coffee mug (Krug) which my 7th grade (7. Klasse) gave me as a "going-away" present (Abschiedsgeschenk).


I'm sorry it has been so long since my last report. I've been quite busy and did not know what to write.

So I thought I'd tell you more about the school.

The ACS is over 100 years old. This year the school has over 900 pupils: from Kindergarten to 12th grade (Klasse).

There are many after-school activities. The school has its own sports teams. Boys and girls have basketball, volleyball, tennis, badminton and other teams. They play against teams from other schools. The teams' name is "ACS Knights" (Ritter).

The school has very good facilities for sports: two outdoors playing fields, a gymnasium (Sportshalle) and even a fitness room!

They also have a music band. It played during lunch on Thursday.

The students arrive at school at 8:00 and the first class (Stunde) begins at 8:10. They have a short break (kurze Pause) from 10:40 to 11:00, and the high school students have a lunch break from 1:30 pm to 2:00 pm.

Students can buy lunch at a cafeteria (Imbiss) at the school.

School ends at 3:15 pm.

I live only a five-minute walk (5 Min. zu Fuss) from the school.

Here is a picture of where I live.

I live on the first floor on the left hand side.

Well, I think that's enough for now.
Let me know what else you might like to know about the school, Beirut or Lebanon!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Beirut: Impressions / Eindrücke

Today (Sunday) I took a walk around Beirut.

Here is a view to the West/Northwest (Blick nach Westen/Nordwesten). Notice the snow on the mountains (Schnee auf den Bergen)

As you can see, Beirut is located directly on the Mediterranean (liegt direkt am Mittelmeer). Beirut is a very lively city, and the shops stay open late. You can buy almost anything here.
At night it seems that everybody goes out! There are very many nice restaurants and clubs.

The drivers here are a bit crazy. When you cross a street you have to be careful (Vorsicht beim Straßenüberqueren)!

The weather was nice and it was sunny today. Some (a few) people even went swimming in the sea (Ein Paar Leute gingen sogar Schwimmen!). In the Summer many people go to the beaches north and south of the city. Now you can go skiing - the ski slopes are only two hours away (jetzt kann man Schifahren gehen - die Schanzen sind nur 2 Stunden entfernt).

Well, I hope you found this interesting! Until next time!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

First day of Instruction / Erster Unterrichtstag

"Marhaba" aus Libanon!

On Monday and Tuesday I taught my first classes.

The pupils are quite nice. They asked a lot of questions about me, Germany, Neustadt and Edenkoben.

I also gave the letters which Lena, Carina, Theresa and Mareike (from Latin 8a/b) wrote to the two 9th grade classes. Many of them said they would write!

Here are pictures of my 9th grade classes.

I have also learned some Arabic!
Marhaba = Hallo
Kiefak = Wie geht's? (das sagt man einem Mann)
Kiefik = Wie geht's? (zu einer Frau/einem Mädchen)
Mnih = Es geht mir gut (ein Mann sagt das)
Mni-ha = Es geht mir gut (eine Frau sagt das)
Schuhkran = Danke schön!
Achlan uah sachlan = Willkommen

On Wednesday, Feb 14, we do not have school.
It is also my birthday ;-)

Well, that's it for today! Tell me what you would like to know. I will post something here again soon!

Maa salameh!

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Lebanon - Backround / Hintergrund

OK, a little lesson (eine kleine Lehrstunde)!

Lebanon is an ancient (uraltes) country. Over 3000 years ago the Phoenicians (Phönizier) were a leading trading people (führendes Handelsvolk).

The leading city-states (Stadtstaaten) were Sidon, Tyre and Byblos (von dem Name kommt "Bibel", da Byblos auch viele Bücher produzierte).

Beirut first became famous during the Roman Empire ("Berytus"). Beirut was known (bekannt) for its law school (Iura-Schule). Now Beirut is the capital (Hauptstadt).

Lebanon is still famous (immer noch bekannt) for its trade (Handel). It is perhaps the most "western" of all Arab countries. The people are very open (aufgeschlossen) and friendly!

Traditionally, Lebanon has been a very tolerant country - it is the home to many religions: Christians (Maroniten, Katholiken, Orthodoxe), Moslems, Druze (ein moslem-ähnlicher Glaube) and also Jews.

Unfortunately (leider) there have been tensions (Spannungen) between these faiths (zwischen diesen Glauben) and other countries have involved themselves here (andere Länder mischen sich hier ein).

In 1975 a Civil War (Bürgerkrieg) began and lasted until 1990. The war made my family leave Lebanon because my father could not do any business.

After the Civil War, Lebanon recovered quickly (erholte sich schnell) and until the Israelis bombed Beirut (Summer 2006) everything seemed very good.

People are nervous here (die Leute sind jetzt nervös), but the Lebanese are a very industrious (fleißiges) people. They are even now building new buildings (sie bauen immer noch jetzt ständig neue Gebäude) and they are very hopeful.

Also... ich hoffe dies hat einige von euch interessiert!

Thursday, February 8, 2007

In School / In der Schule

Marhaba! (Hello!)

Here are a few pictures from inside the school!

Here are two photos of my classroom!

And here is the hallway (Flur) outside of the classroom.

I was introduced to my new pupils. They seem nice, but they do not seem as as lively (lebendig) as my pupils in Edenkoben and Neustadt.

We will see!

The weather has been very nice here the last few days.

Today (Friday) there was no school. It was a holiday: "Saint (Sankt) Maroun" Day. Saint Maroun founded (gründete) the Christian sect of the Maronite (Maroniten) Christians.

Yesterday (Thursday) night I was invited (eingeladen) to go to a club. The people were very nice! I even meet a Lebanese TV personality (Fernsehstar).

On Monday will be my first day teaching! I am a little nervous, but it will be OK!

The next time I will have photos of the city and I will then take pictures of my students!

Mareike und Co... am Montag stelle ich eure Briefen den Schülern der 9. Klasse vor!
Am Mittwoch habe ich Geburtstag!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

In Beirut and at School !

Greetings from Beirut!

I spent much of the weekend walking around the city - it is very fascinating!

It is still Winter here: it is cool (ca. 15 °C) and it is raining a lot. But sometimes the sun shines and it is very nice.

On Monday and today I spent some time at the school and took some pictures for you!
Here is the entrance (Eingang)
to the "High School".

Pupils (Schüler/-innen) in grades 9-12 go to school here.
This is where I will teach.

Here is the entrance to the Middle School.
Pupils (Schüler/-innen) in grades 5-8 go to school here.

This is also where the library (Bibliothek) and the cafeteria is.
The cafeteria (Mensa) offers (anbietet) sandwiches (also hamburgers, etc.), salads, ice cream, etc.

In back of (hinter) the cafeteria is a court (Hof) where pupils can "hang out" during their breaks (Pausen).

The teachers are all very nice (there are about 50 teachers!). I found out that I will teach two 9th grade (9. Klasse) classes and two 10th grade classes.

School starts at 8:00 am and ends at 3:15 pm.

The school also has a gymnasium (Sporthalle)


sports fields (Sport-felder)!

As you can see, the Mediter-ranean Sea (Mittel-meer) is very close!

The next time I will take some pictures of the classrooms (Klassenzimmer).

Bis bald!