September 24th, 2014 10.15am
He sits on the comfortable sofa and assesses his surroundings. He is in a spartan, minimally furnished room on the second floor of a nondescript Syrian apartment. There is a lamp-shade to his left, and a small coffee table in front of him, on which there is a bowl containing some dates. Somebody has tried to insert some signs of civilization, and he appreciates this. Outside, staccato gunfire is the false fire-cracker sporadically popping in the distance. The automatic bursts have an industrial sound quality, as if the trigger-happy fanatics shouting their devotions are contractors hired to destroy the city incrementally by hosing it with their bullets, and their RPG rounds.
“You want?” asks one of his swarthy captors unable to develop the question any further, because of limited English.