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16 April, 2004

Keeping watch

A pleading PR person begs for attendance at a press conference, even breaking the cardinal rule of journalistic bribery: never reveal the gift until the event is over. "The gift is a watch, worth three hundred dollars!"

For a flash second, the vision of flogging the timepiece down Karama for a few dirhams nearly appeals. But cold reality sets in: it will cost more in petrol from Guantanamo and back than the watch will fetch. Overseas relatives are already gift-fatigued, and Santa's Sack of Corporate Crap 2004 is overflowing back at Cell Block G, nine months before the day. An elegant Ba'athist chronometer already jostles for wrist-time with a Christmas-present Swatch.

There is just no room at the inn. The invitation must be declined.



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