Riding with Abdul

Heat waves rise from the sun-burnt landscape as I rest in the shade of a stone column. I am in the Syrian countryside, walking in the ruins of the Roman city of Apamea. It’s mid-June, and the temperature has topped 100 degrees.

My stomach is in a raging boil, the result of something I ate last night. Reaching the end of the colonnade, I look for my driver, Abdul, a short, pudgy man with cauliflower ears and a shaven head. All morning we...

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About the Author

Christopher Thornton teaches at Zayed University in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.