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01 February, 2003

Dishdash Knights of the Desert

Sand stranded on the wild bit of beach with the red-and-white pylon on, just after sunset. A Lebanese samaritan snaps his leather dog-leash twice trying to pull us out.

Then - over the horizon - a tribe of urban Bedu appear. White dishdashes, headclothes tied jauntily back from their heads, cigarettes dangling from mouths, and at least one set of orthodontic braces. They swarm over the car, burrowing out sand around the tyres, pushing backwards and forwards: "rawais! jiddan!" and within minutes the vehicle is freed from its quicksand near-death.

As soon as these heroes arrive, they vanish once more into the darkening dunes.



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