I had moved to the American Community School (ACS) in Amman, Jordan a semester before Meesh. It was the very beginning of the first semester of 10th Grade when Meesh handed me a paper in history class with a terribly hand drawn map to his house in Abdoun. “I heard you play the guitar. Come over after school. Let's jam” he said as he passed the paper over.
Meesh was a different breed of menace. Every teacher and parent’s stereotypical nightmare. But you couldn't but love Meesh. His heart was and still is pure gold. In retrospect however, you can’t really blame parents for warning their kids from hanging out with him. Accompanying Meesh on his random daily adventures brought with it exposure to a world of practical experience covering topics schools typically steer clear from.
I took Meesh up on his offer and went over to jam at his. Fahad AlQassab, Richard Haddad (RIP), Mohammad “Snoop” Salamin, Khalil Dabat, and Zeid Nasriddeen were already there when I arrived, already jamming to random covers and their band Sector’s original song “Tea Time.”
His family’s semi-detached villa very quickly became one of my meccas, as it was to many from different schools at that time. His backyard was the setting for countless pre-parties, parties, after-parties, gatherings, random chillouts and endless mischief, an incubator for mayhem.
The insane adventures that ensued from that day on were nothing short of epic. 50% of which may be considered illegal and the rest undoubtedly were. It was the havoc, randomness and curiosity to push boundaries, and the rush of living on the borders of anarchy that drove us to explore the potential of our lunacy.
Meesh’s daily life was a raw reflection of his randomness. A typical weekend involved countless fifteen minute trips all over town, jumping from one car to the next, from one place to the other, jamming here, partying there, resolving a fight that broke out in the middle of the road, playing pool, chilling at home, suddenly getting drawn into a fight, brokering a deal for someone, djing a party, and on and on and on. And we went along with him everywhere.
Meesh would meet a phonebook worth of people on a daily basis. And Meesh kept all their contacts. Everyone knew Meesh and everyone has at least 15 crazy random stories that involve Meesh in one form or the other.
I was well deep into the arts. I was the school paper cartoonist, I was involved in plays, choir, music, and any activity that involved expression. I’d spend countless hours drawing hundreds of cells to animate a fly swatting kid on my Christmas break. I played multiple instruments and was making my own tunes and songs. Creating original artwork gave me pride and satisfaction. Something truly of my own.
After graduating in 2000, Meesh went on to study computer science and I studied International affairs. Him in Jordan and me in Canada. We came back in contact in 2007 two years after graduating university. Meesh was working at his family’s clothing factory running their retail outlets and I was working at the Embassy of Canada in Amman, Jordan.
One day Meesh came over to my parent’s house and saw a painting of a polar bear I was working on. It was the 4th painting in a series on the subject of endangered species. Meesh loved the discipline it took to do the bear’s 5 layers of hair I painted with a needle. After that day Meesh and I started meeting up frequently discussing different projects we could work on together...