The Sandhills of Arabia

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the sandhills of arabia.jpg
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The Sandhills of Arabia

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Moisture trickled from under the black scarf around Shaheedah's head. The orange ball of the sun lay low in the west signalling sunset. Only when it disappeared would she find some relief from the oppressive heat that usually reached 120 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade. She would not shed a tear. Why should she when she knew her young uncle was happy now? He had often spoken of death. Shaheedah watched as his unshrouded blood-stained body was put into the warm earth. Amir had been her favourite, always there to listen to her and answer her unending questions. He made her feel grown-up. Even though he was a devout Muslim, he never pressured her. She would miss him. Her father had found Amir's corpse outside the crumbling white wall surrounding her house. Someone, certainly the police, had thrown it there before sunrise. Both his legs had been broken at the knees and his face had been severely beaten. It was no surprise. Since Amir had turned twelve, he had valiantly participated in the Islamic struggle to rid their country of the rulers who were suffocating the freedom of the Muslims. Only this time, Amir had been picked up, carted off and returned in such a state as if to say, "This is your fate if you insist on rebellion. Be warned!" He had not failed in Shaheedah's mind, although she never really understood the politics behind the struggle. But she knew deep in her heart, he was right.

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