Campus, Talk

Brotherhood of the Traveling Cactus

In video games you are given rewards for your successes. While these rewards don’t mean much, they are a source of pride. In Nihal, a similar concept exists: the Nihal Cactus. This is a simple cactus that has absolutely no value. But it is a reward. And over time, it has become a tradition in Nihal.

During dorm meeting each week, the wielder of the Nihal Cactus presents the now-dead plant to a different student as a reward for his good conduct within the dorm.

For one week, everyone who comes into the honoree’s room immediately recognizes the privilege of caring for the cactus. In spite of the jokes, everyone understands the significance of the cactus. The Nihal cactus represents not only rebels who can stick it to the man, but also respectable residents of the dorm.

The tradition of the Nihal Cactus continues because it embodies the spirits within Nihal. This cactus survives, not with water, for it gets none, but with friendship and with acts of kindness. It survives because of people’s need for recognition of their actions. It survives because it honors the Nihal ideal of brotherhood.

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The campus newspaper of King's Academy, in Madaba, Jordan. Established 2007.