About a year and a half ago, I found myself in the living room of a luxury condominium overlooking a beach in Naples, Florida. I’d been reporting in the Middle East, and, for the first time in two years, had returned home to the U.S. for a visit. My family and I were making the holiday rounds, which brought us to this high-rise, the home of my half-brother’s friend’s wealthy relatives. I’d hoped to just enjoy the view. Instead I got cornered by small talk.
Our hostess asked where I lived. In a small town in southern Turkey, I answered. Inevitably, she asked what I did there. “I’m a journalist covering Syria.”