The Zuhaak taxi drops me off in front of the restaurant. It’s hard to tell it’s a restaurant from the outside; it just looks like another well-fortified guesthouse, complete with high walls, concertina wire, and a guard house surrounded by sandbags. I pay the driver and make my way in. The guard takes my passport and starts searching my bag.

“No knives?” he asks.

“No knives.”

“No guns?”


“No RPG.”

“Well, yes, I’ve got one of those.”

He chuckles and then says, seriously, “No joking.”

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