CH A P T E R 1 The Conflict Joined S uhayb brought out the curved knife from under his dish- dasha. His only words were, “You’re a thief, and I’ll re- lieve you of your thieving hand. My Quran commands it.” Where had Suhayb gotten the big, jeweled dagger? Fear soon caught up with my admiration for the weapon. Why was the Quran in the midst of our sibling conflict? He straddled my chest. I was weak, and he was strong. Trap- ping my left arm under his right knee, he then grasped my right forearm with his left hand, and took the knife in his right hand. Due to the sharpness of the knife the initial pain was less than I expected, and for a moment I felt an odd relief. But then I saw blood drip from my forearm onto the sand, where the blood grew into a small pool before the sand swallowed it. The bright sunlight glistened on our wet skin, and only the slippery sweat dripping off of us prevented completion of the intended act. I slithered under Suhayb with the lubricating sweat. My forearm slid from his grasp for a moment, but he soon regained the advantage. The dust rose and adhered to our skin. By this time the other children in the schoolyard had gathered in a circle around us. Their cry, “Suhayb is killing Yacoub,” summoned the school- master, Abu Salim.