It is a kind of ego booster, the way Egypt’s winning the 1973 war, in the first stages, was an uplift. But I did not find when I spoke to people that the war in Iraq was seen as the major issue in American-Arab relations.
I’d had an early stint in acting school, and there was something satisfying about becoming a character, about being inside another mind that you had to create out of yourself. As I moved toward a life in writing, I found many of the things I’d learned in acting school still applied.
The holy land was supposed to be spotless, a serious equivalent of Disneyland in which not a single candy wrapper is to stay on the ground for more than a few minutes.