But instead of holding her breath, like the anti-government activists in the back seat of her car, she waved happily at the young soldier with the AK-47, who glared back at her through the windshield.
After this test of wills, he motioned her through. And everyone exhaled.
Um Khalid is driving the activists to Salahaddin, the most restive and dangerous neighborhood in Aleppo. There, for months hundreds of protesters have risked sniper fire and armed gangs to march through darkened streets.