6 J I M C A R R O L L By the time Abu Salim arrived, Suhayb had transected a small artery, and the flow of blood pulsated rather than dripped. When I saw Abu Salim’s frightened expression, I lost any residue of bravery and sobbed. Abu Salim seized the knife and applied pres- sure to the wound. I looked up in envy at my red-maned brother, his pale skin, and blue eyes. Where did he get the blue eyes? My own dark skin and black curly hair did little to set me apart from my school- mates at the Kuwait English School. Abu Salim and a teacher dragged us both to the school of- fice and forcibly set us down in chairs at opposite ends of the room. Abu Salim opened the phone line; the only phone at the school. “I must speak to Salman Al-Tamimi immediately. No, I can’t wait.” At least five minutes passed as we sat staring at one another. “Salman, come and get your sons. Suhayb just tried to cut off Yacoub’s hand. Yacoub needs to see a doctor.” My father arrived in thirty minutes and grabbed Suhayb and me by the collars of our dishdashas. “What’ve you done? You’ve disgraced our family.” Abu Salim gave the knife to Salman, who took the weapon, examined it, and put it in his pocket. My father dragged us to the car and gave us no opportunity to walk on our own. As the driver started the car, there was silence for several minutes. Suhayb was the first to speak. “He took the masbaha [Islamic prayer beads] you gave me when I was six. I must have his hand now for my own.” He was unrepentant. In defense I said to my father, “Why didn’t you give me masba- ha when I was six?” I put my face in both hands and whimpered. “I give gifts to whom I wish. Suhayb is the first son. You’re the second.” I never wanted to see the beads again. But continuing in my mind’s eye was the picture of Suhayb counting the delicately carved silver beads as he recited the ninety-nine names of Allah.