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A line two kilometers long stretches from a gas station in a neighborhood of Damascus to the last car waiting to fill up. The driver at the end is dozing at the wheel while his family sleeps in the back. It may take a day to get to the pumps. And hence, his dilemma: lock the car and go home, leaving someone to guard it, and come back the next day, or stick out the wait and risk the pump running dry or...