After it was dark and small fires were burning on the tell overlooking the water, the women descended towards the sea. On the beach, they lined up side by side and walked into the surf in their thobs and the jallabiyehs that they bought from the festival market. They felt the cold water crashing around their feet and their hems becoming heavier. The waves hit their knees and the bright patterns on their dresses became darker, dyed once by the night and again by the colorless water. They waded deeper until their waists were covered then submerged their bodies and dipped their hair backwards and sideways into the sea. With the current tugging at their robes and their hair slicked with moonlight, the women began to sing.

On the cliffs behind them, the men and children gathered to listen. They held their lanterns against the sky in a long, jagged constellation and listened to the fragments of singing that escaped the crashing of the sea. Sofia was up to her stomach in water, covering herself with cupped handfuls and repeating the chants that the women were singing.