Palmyra is the site of an ancient city, roman times, ruled by Xenobia, queen of Palmyra. Our hotel is only a mile or so from the site. The dining room windows face the site, so in the morning, I drink tea and watch the sun illuminate the main avenue flanked with columns. In the evening one of the few available activities is to travel back to the ruins by bus and hike up to the half ruined Arab fortress built on the ruins of Xenobia’s castle. The site overlooks the plain of the city, laid out in a grid. This is a speculator because no one has taken this area in hand and made an official tourist site. Good for them, and good for us. Tourists from all over the world, babbling in various languages and slang fight for purchase on a slippery shale, shard covered hill to watch the sun set over rather nondescript mountains. I turn my head and watch the golden rays light up the ruins of the ancient city. I am entranced by a city in the heart of this misogynist country that was controlled by a woman, and how it prospered under the rule of a woman. And how her city still stands.