In a corridor of the royal palace in Amman, Jordan, there is a large photograph of King Hussein. Or rather three photographs within one frame, so arranged that as you walk by the picture keeps changing—in the manner of those pictures with a three-dimensional effect. This changing, multiple picture is a good metaphor for the Middle East, where things are very often more or less than they seem and where truth depends largely upon the angle of vision.
Our group became aware of the relative nature of truth within forty-eight hours of the beginning of our trip. Warmly greeted at the Cairo airport by members of the Ecumenical Advisory Council (which includes Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churches), launched upon an exhausting and impressive round of dinners and interviews with cabinet ministers, educators, journalists, and religious leaders, strolling by the Nile after a dinner at the Papal Nuncio's residence, we felt both important and welcome. Twelve hours later we were arrested as spies.