Glass Enclave
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Twelve books on pregnancy made their way to the counter with proof that Sammar lived in the zone which this library served. Getting the card, Yasmin did all the talking. Sammar felt like a helpless immigrant who didn't know any English. She imagined the English words lifting away from her brain, evaporating, forming a light mist. It was one of the things that Mahasen had said to her the night of their quarrel, trembling with anger, fluent with righteousness. The night when Sammar had asked her permission to marry Ahmad Ali Yasseen. An educated girl like you, you know English... you can support yourself and your son, you don't need marriage. What do you need it for? He started to talk to me about this and I silenced him. I shamed him, the old fool. He's religious, Sammar had choked the words, he feels a duty towards widows... He can take his religiousness and build a mosque but keep away from us. In the past, widows needed protection, life is different now. She had wanted to say something in reply but the words stuck in her throat like dough.

'Rae's book', said Yasmin, just as they were leaving, 'did you see it? I'm sure it's here. Nobody reads these kind of things'. With their twelve books they went back to the History section and searched, finally finding The Illusion of an Islamic Threat upstairs, classified under Politics. On the back Sammar read in italics what others said about it, Brings a new understanding to the turbulent situation in the Middle East. --Independent on Sunday. Isles sets out to prove that the threat of an Islamic take-over of the Middle-East is exaggerated.... His arguments are bold, his insights provocative. --The Scotsman.

They talked about him when they left the library, their voices carrying above the sound of the traffic and the cold wind. Sammar wanted to know about his ex-wives. The first, Yasmin said, was married now and living in Wales. She belonged to the distant past, Yasmin had never met her. The second, the mother of the daughter who was in boarding school in Edinburgh, worked for the World Health Organization in Geneva. They used to live in Cults, a big nice house. Then he moved to a flat in town.

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