Le agradezco mucho a Charles su disposición para compartir estos correos y fotos. Serán de gran utilidad para el blog. Thanks Charles!
Espero la disfruten. Saludos!
Charles in Arabia, first part
nasair (www.flynas.com) -- our client in KSA -- held three days of Commercial/Sales meetings back on January 31, February 1 & 2. Country Managers from the nasair sales team traveled to Riyadh for the meetings -- from Amman, Beirut, Bombay, Cairo, Damascus, Dubai and Kuwait City. What an eye-opener on Middle East culture and perspective. The out-of-towners were all super-friendly, really articulate (in English) and highly engaged -- all in the midst of tremendous turmoil throughout the region -- which I'm sure you've been watching from afar.
On Tuesday night, we all piled into vehicles and headed north (about 45 minutes from Riyadh) to a "camp" in the middle of the desert for dinner. Boys only -- the government either refused the girls' permit, or just didn't get around to issuing it (in KSA, a permit from the government is required for mixed-gender gatherings).
So -- ~30 guys in the middle of the desert with:
- a few tents
- a few lambs
- a few teas
- a few coals
- a few shishas (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hookah)
- and many grins
Following is the photo journal...
Photo 1: Arrival at the camp -- that's Turki -- nasair Director of Sales who played chauffeur for Jeff, Keith and CZ
Photo 2: Dinner on the spit
Photo 3: CZ at sundown
Photo 4: The boys in the main tent -- watching TV on a night (February 1) when all were convinced Mubarak was toast
Photo 5: Some perspective on the "camp"
Photo 6: Even more perspective on the "camp"
Charles in Arabia, second part
The fire was the center of attention this evening. Really an old school campfire-like gathering in the middle of the desert -- without beers, which I found most unusual. A couple of tents offered respite from the smoke, if you were so inclined. Serious story-telling accompanied by major yucks in multiple languages...
Photo 1: Early fire photo
Photo 2: Abdullah, nasair CIO, making friendly with his shisha
Photo 3: Keith Taylor (former Southwest Airlines VP, Revenue Management) and Victor Barrero (Deputy Director of Revenue Management at nasair -- also resident Mexican mathematician and funny man) -- Victor, we're going to make a video when I return to Riyadh next week...
Photo 4: Jeff Walters and our new friend, Turki Al Jawani -- shisha instructions
Photo 5: Night fire, teapot and shisha -- any other questions?
Charles in Arabia, third part
Finally got down to the main course -- the driving force behind our trip to the desert. Not for the vegetarians-at-heart among y'all, here are a few photos of our feast...
Photo 1: Dinner being served by our very capable chefs
Photo 2: CZ and Keith Taylor -- licking our (proverbial) chops -- but worried that the "locals" might actually follow tradition and insist that the three "guests" kick off the feast by slurping the brains of our main course
Photo 3: "We don't get meals like this in Mexico..." Finger lickin' good...
Photo 4: Does anyone have a recipe for mutton soup?