It would take a revolution and nearly half a million dollars to undo the damage Mezyan Al Barazi suffered one night in 1977. That was the moment he discovered he was an enemy of the state—in the dark hours of the evening before his university exams. At the age of twenty-six, Al Barazi was a diligent student. He had spent the day poring over notes, preparing for his final paper for his agricultural engineering degree from the University of Damascus.
A firm knock rattled his door. He opened it to find a knot . . .