Beards are common amongst Muslim men, who follow the example of the prophet Muhammed in keeping a beard and a trimmed moustache. The beard is seen as an act of faith. As the novel is set in the post-9/11 era, the speaker assumes that the man he is approaching would be wary of him as a Muslim – much anger and suspicion was directed towards Muslims in general around this time.
Beards are common amongst other religions, such as Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism and early Christianity, and often seen as holy or displays of faith.
Des Moines is the largest and capital city of the US state of Iowa. Originally called Fort Des Moines, it was named in 1851 after the Des Moines River. The current population is roughly 203,000, and the city is an important centre in the insurance business.
The Northwest Frontier, known now as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, is one of Pakistan’s four provinces. Its capital is Peshawar, and the main ethnic group is Pashtun, defined racially and physically as Caucasians of the Mediterranean variant.
Anarkali Bazaar, situated in Lahore, Pakistan, is one of the oldest markets in South Asia. It was named after a nearby mausoleum, in which the courtesan Anarkali was, according to legend, buried alive by Emperor Akbar for having a relationship with his son Salim.
Anarkali Bazaar is divided into two sections – Old Anarkali is famous for its traditional food, whilst New Anarkali is renowed for traditional handicrafts, in particular embroidery.
Pakistani tea is similar to Indian tea, called masala chai (meaning ‘spiced tea’). Masala chai is made by boiling tea leaves mixed with spices and milk. Other varieties of tea are Kahwah, a kind of green tea grown in the Kashmir Valley, which is brewed with spices including cardamom, saffron, cinnamon and occasionally roses, and served with crushed nuts, sugar and honey. Doodh Pati Chai (‘milk tea’) is dearer than normal chai, and made by brewing tea with a mixture of milk and sugar.
Princeton College is one of the eight American Ivy League Universities. Founded in 1746, it is situated in Princeton, New Jersey, and over the last ten years has ranked number one or two amongst national universities in the USA.
The style was most commonly used for churches, cathedrals and abbeys, and also for important buildings such as palaces, town halls, government and university buildings, and occasionally private homes. Features are towers and spires, arches, vaults, large windows and ornate decorations, particularly gargoyles, all designed to give an impression of might.
Harvard Business School is situated in Boston, Massachusetts. Founded in 1906, it is the graduate business school of Harvard University, and is considered one of the top business schools in the world.
The Nassau Inn is one of Princeton’s principal hotels, and the only functioning full service hotel in the city centre.
Urdu name for Genghis, who was the Mongol emperor famed for his empire-expanding attacks on the Muslim world in the 13th century. This is significant, as with a name like this Changez is unlikely to be a Muslim fundamentalist.
The Punjab is an area of land covering parts of Pakistan and India, including the Pakistani Punjab province, and the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, Chandigarh and Himachal Pradesh. The name is Persian and means ‘Land of Five Waters’ – the rivers Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej all flow through the region. Lahore was the capital of Punjab before it was partitioned, and remains the capital of Pakistani Punjab, while Chandigarh, not far away on the Indian side of the border, is the capital of Indian Punjab.
The Punjab has a turbulent history, having been invaded, partitioned, reunited and repartitioned more times than can be counted. As a result, many ethnic groups make up the population, the largest being Indo-Aryans.
The next foreign reign was of the Mughals, who invaded in the 13th century. Mughal rule was generally regarded as a prosperous and peaceful time, after the initial upheaval of the invasion.
British sovereignty was accepted or forced in the 18th century. At the partition of India in 1947, the area was split into West Punjab (Pakistani) and East Punjab (Indian). After the collapse of the British Raj in 1947, Punjab suffered a severe amount of civil unrest.
Gulberg is a residential and commercial district of Lahore, and one of the most upscale areas of the city. The name is a combination of the Persian words ‘gul’ (flower) and ‘bagh’ (open park), as the area used to be famous for its big gardens.
The Punjab Club is the most exclusive club in Lahore. Membership is reserved for the elite and is a mark of great prestige and wealth.
Sufism is the common name for Muslim mysticism, and its practitioners are Sufis or Dervishes. They believe that it is possible to become close to God in life, rather than only death, and seek to obtain a state of perfection within themselves by sticking closely to the path of God.
Zen masters teach Zen Buddhism, a form of Buddhism which focuses on wisdom in helping to achieve enlightenment. It too aims to achieve a state of perfection in the mind.
The National College of Arts (NCA) was founded in Lahore in 1875, at that time under the name of the Mayo School of Arts. It is a public college, catering to 450 art and design students of both sexes who come from across Pakistan, and is well established as one of the two major art schools in the country today.
Athens is the capital city of Greece. It is the country’s largest city and one of the oldest cities in the world, with a history spanning 3,400 years. The city’s most famous monument is the Parthenon on the Acropolis, which rises above the city. There are also several temples and other monuments dating to the time of the Roman and Byzantine Empires. Modern-day Athens is a centre of Greek financial, economic and cultural life.
‘Summer of ’69’ is a song released by the Canadian singer-songwriter Bryan Adams. It appeared on his fourth album, Reckless (1984) and was released as an individual single in June 1985.