The remaining buildings in the bombed-out village shimmer behind undulating waves of heat rising off the deserted street. Cut off from outside aid, Fariba and her son, Bijan, pedal their bikes carefully through the rubble, baskets full of overpriced supplies from the black market.
Eyeing the sky, listening for drones, she says, “Let’s get inside.”
Back at the hospital, the power is on, for now; the water is clean, for now; the generator is old; the fuel is scarce—bombs aren’t the only things that kill out here in the desert.
Inside, the AC screams, almost as loudly as the children.