The long flight to Amman, broken only less than an hour in Paris, was drenched with happy silence for the most part. “Adam, if it’s really just going to be the two of us, how much can we do?” “There is a story about Abu Hanifa, the founder of one school of traditional practices, he was obviously a man not only scholarly and learned, but also a lover of God, a sanctified presence. Now the caliph at that time liked to enhance his own reputation by inviting holy men to his court, surrounding himself with the semblance to avoid the substance? Who can say, nevertheless Abu Hanifa understood the seduction of courts and the endless capacity for corruption in the purest disposition, rejecting every invitation, every trick to lure him there, he wanted his integrity unquestioned. During these years he had an unruly neighbor, a shoemaker by day and a drunk by night, every night Abu Hanifa’s prayers and meditations were interrupted by his neighbor’s carousing, the noisy celebrations, rude quarrels and vicious recriminations, but it was not the way of this exalted being to complain or interfere. One night there was a strange silence, peace, no noise whatsoever and Abu Hanifa was so surprised he undertook a quiet investigation to find out why; when he discovered the shoemaker had been arrested he went straight to the palace to see the caliph. ‘I have come,’ the imam said, ‘To speak on behalf of this man who is my neighbor, he has no friends, his life overwhelms him with sorrow and difficulty; I have come to beg mercy and lenience for his poor soul.’ The caliph was so moved by this act he said, ‘You have interceded for one prisoner, let our generosity equal yours, I hereby decree the freedom of all prisoners in the Islamic empire.’ ”

“We are now flying over the continent of Asia,” the captain’s voice rang through Alia’s absorbing study of maps stuffed into a seat pocket in front of her. She glanced at Adam’s sleeping face with gratitude, “This is it,” she thought to herself, “We’re nearly there, we’re really doing it, no matter how this turns out, whether we do anything or not, at least we’ll have tried, made a gesture against governments, bureaucracy, individuals, done something to affirm principles that should inspire us all. My beloved Adam, you look like