Droning On

I used to work in a call center in which we were instructed to make 50 calls an hour. Our pay depended on us fulfilling this quota. Most hours, this didn't prove to be a problem. At 7pm, there was a list of thousands of old grannies eager to be divested of their retirement fund. Things got trickier, however, on the night shift. At 3am, who do you call to fulfill your quota?
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Lines in the Sand

It is difficult to draw lines in the desert. The wind tends to quickly cover them up with sand, and the surface is as before. The problem is exacerbated if one has to draw lines around a nation bordered by seven other countries. If that wasn't difficult enough, it is especially hard to draw such lines when you have three competing ideas of where the line should be. Nation states like clear lines between organised sovereignties, separating out the vivid blocks of colour on our maps. Such an understanding is not shared by nomadic peoples, whose concept of territorial ownership can often be durational and change with the seasons. Nor is such an understanding shared by Islamic movements that see only one border: that between Islam and the non-believers. Suffice to say, Saudi Arabia has always had a problem with lines.
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