CH A P T E R 5 Another Desert T he New York skyline whacked me in the face as the plane landed at Idlewild Airport. How would my ideas and beliefs fit in with all this? Given my facility with language, near absence of accent, and Western dress, I had little trouble with immigration, and I board- ed my flight across the US to Tucson. Soon I was back in the desert, not quite the desert of Kuwait but, except for the Sagauro cactus, very close. I left my bags in my room on campus and went over to the Arts and Sciences Building to meet my professor, Dr. Saturnalia Allison. She was much younger than expected, surprisingly so for a full professor. I had not known her first name, and I briefly wondered if her parents had given her the name or if she had chosen it herself. She had short brown hair, horn-rimmed glass- es, and wasn’t wearing her shoes. Her blouse was unbuttoned down to the third button. Perhaps she was just not careful about her appearance. “Well Mr. Al-Tamimi, you must be quite tired from your long trip. I’m glad you came over for a few minutes. Here’s your cur- riculum for the semester.” She handed me a three-inch stack of assignments. Apparently, she was more careful about scholar- ship than her appearance.