I had lunch with friends in a Syrian doctor’s house. He had worked for many years in the US, and he suggested, “Do this experiment: go to ten houses here in Syria, and knock on the door. Say, in English: “I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, can you help me?” See what happens: I think every house would give you food and drink. Then you try the same thing in Britain, or America – and speak in Arabic.”
I didn’t carry out the doctor’s experiment – I thought it would too embarrassing to get fed again and again.