As the dates of my blog posts testify, I am not a regular blogger! It has been more than a year since my last post but there was something that continued to niggle me about how that post ended. My final statement seemed a weak conclusion for such a powerful observation on the link between freedom and sleep. And then a year later, a quote from Macbeth popped into my head, “Macbeth does murder sleep.” Macbeth has just killed King Duncan when accusing voices begin to disturb him and from that point onwards his sleep is disturbed. He is afraid by what he has done and the trauma of his act stays with him – constantly. Fear prevents sleep. When empathising with those who live in a state of war or under constant threat of persecution we focus on restrictions to activity and overlook what is perhaps the greater cruelty of fear – the inability to sleep. Later on in the passage, Macbeth describes sleep as “nature’s second course” – i.e. the main meal that nourishes and sustains us for activity. Which takes us back to Aryam and her family. Her final observations seem to suggest that for them the ability to sleep was the main indicator of a life lived in freedom from fear.