My wife and I had just finished a 10-day visit to Dubai and the United Arab Emirates. It was a stunning trip. I had taken her to the airport for her return trip to the States. I returned to the Sheraton Dubai Creek Hotel for my final night before flying back to Afghanistan. It is an incredible five-star hotel located in the heart of old Dubai.
I was sitting in the Hotel Chelsea Arms Pub, drinking a black and tan, eating Bangers and Mash. Suddenly, a group of traditionally dressed Saudis entered the bar, taking a table near where I was sitting. The clear leader of the group strikes up a conversation with me. He asked me to join him at their table.
He said us Suadis and you Americans are a lot alike. We support our friends and take care of our families. Come to find out, he was some sort of Arab Royalty, hence the entourage accompanying him. He had a son in the Suadi Airforce who flew F16s and Commanded an Air Wing.
He had come to Dubai while his wife and daughter were visiting his younger son, who was attending the University of Southern California. Sharing the intricacies of hunting deer with a falcon. I will remember his stories of him hunting with his $400K Falcon in Pakistan for the rest of my life. He and his boys were getting ready to tear up the town Vegas-style.
He asked me to join them, but I had an early flight to Bagram Airbase in the morning. We wished each other a happy life, and I retired to my room. I don't remember his name, but it reaffirmed my belief we are all on some level the same. That some basic good exists between all of us people on earth.