The palm trunk against the boy’s back, the fronds above rattling in the wind as he watches the surf hiss across the sand, retreat, return.
He thinks again of the legend.
A bench in Bagdad, two men sitting side by side, one old, one as young as himself.
The boy is a porter, dressed in rags, while the gray-haired ancient clothed in gold-embroidered silks.
They discover they share a name, Sinbad.
Emboldened by this coincidence, the porter complained that the rich have everything while the poor starve.
“They have no chances.”
“It is so, yet I was once as poor as you,” said the old man.
“How did you become rich, then?”
“I petitioned Allah. In His goodness he sent me on seven voyages, each more incredible than the last. My travels made me rich in both wisdom and treasure.”
The boy’s stomach growls.
He still believes the story.
He has no choice because he, too, is a Sinbad.
What Pegman Saw: Oman
Suhar claims to be the birthplace of Sinbad the Sailor, still a powerful figure in Middle Eastern legend.