I stepped across the threshold of his humble abode and greeted him. I chanced upon the butler, who was carrying a bowl of dates and a glass of milk on a tray.
“Welcome to the sanctuary of the prophet Khaled.”
“Yes, don’t you know? He is the Arabic prophet who was given the cold shoulder by the people he was committed to guide.” He didn’t care to provide me with context so that I could cushion the brick he had just dropped on me. Instead, he left me to my own devices and went to minister to the rest of the guests.
I had been on my way to the Algerian city of Biskra to buy the dates my wife had asked for—or rather, entreated me to fetch her. She had declared that she had been craving them for quite a while already and reminded me of the perils of leaving pregnancy whims unanswered. “Before you know it, the child is born with a ...Read more