I undertook a trip backward in time to try and understand the mysteries of the magazine, when it was found in the first place and then to understand how it was lost – the mysterious encounter with the guy (not a Sultan after all), in Dubai: with a woman (most likely not a judge after all)
Initially, let us talk about her. This is what I said at the time:
“She is Judge, a woman of impeccable credentials. I learned so upon examining her business card – one side is Arabic and the other is English. Guess which side I could understand? Our encounter was rather rushed as they had other commitments.”
I spoke to AK (the Saudi owner of Eish’ha Tours) about the encounter and her business card.
Me: But now I am thinking. Anyone can have a business card printed up. That does not mean she was a United Nations International Judge.
He: That is right Alexis. It could have been a hoax. She was pretending to be someone she was not.
Me: I can be so naive sometimes.
The card said she was Judge Shams. What is a sham? It is a a thing that is not what it is purported to be. Synonyms are: fake, fraud, impostor, pretender, masquerader, dissembler, wolf in sheep’s clothing; quack, mountebank; phony.
What a joke these two were playing on people it seems to me now. It took me two years but I an onto them now. I got fooled!! Totally. This was the conversation, dutifully recorded in my blog at the time.
I walked into one of the lounges and saw a man dressed in Arab clothes, the usual ones but with a coat of gauzy material (you will see in the photo). I walked up to him and this is the conversation as I remember it.
Me: Your Highness. I know from your attire that you must be Royalty
(A woman who was standing beside him responded, later I was to learn that she is/was Judge Shams of the United Nations Court) .
She: He is. He is a Sultan.We chatted, She gave me her business card. I recall that we were to meet the next day but we did not and I have not been able to reach her – she does not respond to my messages, even to this day.
Now I realize. The telephone number was not a US number. It was a Dubai one. What is a woman, a respected Judge of the United Nations Court doing with a Dubai telephone number? My goodness was I ever naive.
Naive has two meanings: 1. (of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgment. Used in a sentence: The rather naive young woman had been totally misled or I was politically naive. 2. (of a person) natural and unaffected; innocent. Used in a sentence: Alexis had a sweet, naive look when she smiled.
Personally I prefer the second definition but, you see, as I am totally honest, I think other people are too. I would never in a million years (well, hundred thousand years anyway – not to exaggerate) have a fake business card made up. So it could be said that I am unsophisticated, artless, ingenuous, inexperienced, guileless, unworldly, childlike, trusting, trustful, dewy-eyed, starry-eyed, wide-eyed, fond, simple, natural, unaffected, unpretentious; credulous, gullible, easily taken in, easily deceived, unsuspecting, over-trusting, over-trustful, born yesterday, unsuspicious, deceivable, dupable, callow, as green as grass, wet behind the ears. However, I can become sophisticated, disingenuous, experienced, worldly when I learn the truth. Scores of people who have lied to me, then seen much to their chagrin how experienced and worldly I become when I learn the truth.
Chagrin is annoyance, irritation, vexation, exasperation, displeasure, pique, spleen, crossness, anger, rage, fury, wrath; dissatisfaction, discontent, indignation, resentment, umbrage, disgruntlement, rankling, smarting, distress, discomposure, discomfiture, disquiet, fretfulness, frustration; embarrassment, mortification, humiliation, shame.
There was a hint that something was not right in the state of Denmark. The “judge” was laden down with jewels – that is not ‘attire’ for judges. A line from the play Hamlet, by William Shakespeare. An officer of the palace guard says this after the ghost of the dead king appears, walking over the palace walls. It is idiomatic, something s not right, seriously amiss, especially when leading to suspicion of motive. Used in a sentence: f the authorities knew about the problems and chose not to prevent them, then clearly something is rotten in the state of Denmark. I remarked upon it at the time.
It doth appear that those two (the Sultan and the Judge) were up to no good. Up to no good means someone is conniving, calculating, scheming, and shrewd — in other words, sneaky and up to no good.
Perhaps we shall never know what they were doing. AK, just this morning offered a clue. We had been discussing why the sneaky sultan was wearing the gauze ‘coat’ over his those.
AK: You know what I think there might be a Saudi event abroad where he was wearing the traditional dress for.. or perhaps a photoshoot?
Me: Clever idea. A photo shoot! But he had nothing around his neck identifying him which they usually do. For example when I met the Crown Prince of Dubai in a humble hotel in London he was wearing something around his neck that said Sultan. This guy had nothing around his neck announcing his ‘status’. Writing the story about the magazine is freeing me. We will talk when we see one another about the feeling
Little did the calculating, scheming and shrewd twosome know that the unsuspecting, over-trusting, born yesterday, wet behind the ears woman would become a sophisticated, world-wise woman with a successful blog attracting half a million (and still counting) views.
The sham sultan asked the sham judge to take our photo. That could be the scene of his undoing
Not sure what to attach as a photograph or reel to this blog. Perhaps the reel AK took of me on our excursion to the Edge of the World in Saudi Arabia. Then to introduce some humour into this defining serious blog, two New Yorker cartoons. I laugh at the first because I can identify with the pastor because I have such problems pronouncing Arabic words – all of my prayers are said in English, because no one, not even Allah (SWT) could understand what is being said when I speak Arabic. The other is funny in a serious way. The heavy artillery called in to battle the giant ants, reminds me of the heavy artillery brought daily to battle against the women and children of Palestine.
The next chapter shall describe the events following my return from Dubai at the end of October 2021,