EACH DAY AT sunset I sit on my fourth-storey balcony in Oman and look out over the pastel-pink town, waiting for the pigeons. They always come at the same time, a huge flock of them weaving deftly through the sky, each brisk turn harmonious, and perch on the concrete rooftop of a distant building, waiting to be fed.
An Omani man – let’s call him Ishmael – opens the small gates of the rooftop roost and his birds flutter in, the gate closing just as the call to prayer, issued from numerous mosques, ushers evening into the streets.
There’s a disabled boy (cerebral palsy?) living across the street from my apartment block, two streets away from Ishmael’s house. The boy’s house sits next to a vacant dirt block where, of an evening, the local kids play soccer. They don’t let the boy play, though – they throw rocks at him and shout words in Arabic... Read more
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