. Imagine yourself as an American spy in the 19th century, write an intelligence essay report
about the Islamic thinker and activist, Jamal al-Din Afghani. You have been doing a lot
of research on this man and just visited him in Istanbul. As the main character in the novel
Samarkand, your ostensible purpose for the visit was your interest in the lost manuscript
of Omar Khayyam’s Rubaiyat. However, in reality, you were trying to gather intelligence
about the state of the Middle East and the many Islamic countries that this remarkable
man has influenced, both directly and indirectly.