After checking for mail she turned towards the library, her head full of the dreaming spires and grey skies of Oxford.
The hushed atmosphere of the library was like a second home. Mohamed searched his usual furrow of bookshelves, selecting a complete works of Shakespeare, a very large English/Arabic dictionary and the post-colonial journal that he was currently working his way through.
Alice saw him draw back his shoulders and assume the pose of an Egyptian: proud, tall with coal black eyes and a noble gaze. He was well dressed, she noted. Sports jacket, black trousers and those shoes.
“Women. Plural. Your religion allows a man to have many wives. But the women are only allowed to have one man. Or in fact just a part of a man, since there are other wives as well. I don’t see how that is fair to women.”
“It is our culture. And we are only allowed to have four wives at the most. Usually we have just one, because it is very expensive to have many wives. But our society is based on scientific principles. This way ensures that the children are born into a loving home with all that they need. The men do not need to go astray because they always have a woman at home for, for…”
“Yes, of course. And there are words, too, that I find hard to understand. Sometimes I just don’t get what men are all about. Isn’t it strange that we two come from far places to seek knowledge in this ancient