CH A P T E R 2 School of Torture B oth of us should have been dismissed from the school. Fighting was not allowed, and certainly not with a dagger. My father assured us he had secured our continued at- tendance despite our disgrace. “They’re taking you back only be- cause they have no choice. I’m rich with many sheep and goats, and now there is the oil. The Emir lets us have a little, and even with the leftover oil, we could buy the school. Both of you must thank me for making your life too easy. You don’t have to live in a tent as your mother and I did.” Suhayb walked into the school with his head high, as if he was proud of his attack. I hung my head. I was unwell again, as I was on so many school days. I was too small for my age, and I often fell asleep in class. But my teachers indulged me. School was painful every day, and the day of my return af- ter the attack was no different. The classwork demanded end- less repetition—word recognition, multiplication tables, boring facts of all kinds—the whole class repeating them over and over in unison. It was a song of prolonged torture. But if there were questions, I always had the answer. My teachers couldn’t chal- lenge my knowledge even though I slept through their teaching.