When the boy first arrives in the oasis, he notices that there are many more women and children than there are men. The camel driver explains that oases are neutral territories and reserved as "places of refuge" (88). There are many oases in the desert, but battles are fought outside of them so women and children are not hurt. Another rule inside an oasis is that those that reside there, visitors alike, must not harbor any weapons, nor must they shelter any armies or troops. This helps to bring the community together as a peace-keeping society. As long as the occupants follow the rules of the desert, they will not be harmed by the wars being fought around them. In addition, if the tribesmen who are at war uphold the rules of the oases, that is, if they leave oases alone by not taking them by force, then at least there are places that can be sanctuaries, or safe places, for anyone to claim as needed. Obeying the rules of the oases shows that people can at least agree on something, even if they are at war in the desert.