I have spent the last two days in solitude and worship. I analyzed my life deeply and faced all my faults. I have cried, smiled and prayed and I have found out things I never thought could happen.
I hated a man. I hated a Saudi Man. A Bedouin of Riyadh. I resented him for disturbing me constantly with his petty needs. I ignored his calls and got angry at his missed calls. I did this for the past 7 years.
I have known him since I was 7. My father got him appointed in his company back then. As a child, I really liked this Bedouin ( will not name him.. he is from a BIG tribe). He was always pleasant. Always patient with my constant tricks and tantrums. I was a NAUGHTY little boy. And I mean, NAUGHTY. I used to jump out of the school bus he used to drive us in from school. We lived in a compound and there were western kids, arab kids and us. Every time we entered the American School and the bus slowed down, I would jump out to perform a stunt.. the kids cheered. I wanted to Impress the little girls, and I did. But, this guy would FREAK OUT! Because if a single one of us got hurt, the Ministry of Interior would grab him. Gosh, I made him cry.
Today.. he is almost 60. Retired. And, I have been unfair to him. I thought he was just a Saudi who wanted to make money out of me. God was I wrong!
Last week, I found out things he never told me. I found out that when I started my venture, he went behind my back and wrote a letter taking full responsibility for my actions in KSA. I found out that when a certain powerful man, his ex-employer, asked him to choose between standing up for me or working for him, he chose to stand up with me. Losing his 30 years work benefits, getting humiliated. I found out that every person in his neighborhood considers me a hero and loves me. I found out that his children and his family pray for me. I found out that he really does not care for what money I have or don’t have. I also found out that he has NO money. Whatever money I used to give him, used to be his bread and butter! I found out ALL of this from a person very high up in rank and very reliable. A person who has NOTHING to gain by telling me this!..
A bedouin of Najd did all this for me for nothing. WHY?
I confront people if there is something between us. I talk. I get them to talk. I called him. I spoke politely and asked if there is anything I could do for him. He talked for 2 hours. He told me he had plans of how to enhance my work and give me better legal back ups etc. I stopped him. I said why do you want to do all this for me?
He said this: I gave your father my word that I would look out for you. You grew up in front of me. I love you all as I do my family. What is wrong with you ya Ali? Have you forgotten the time you jumped from the bus and I came running out to pick you up? Your father gave me my first job. You think we bedouins forget? Never. I wept like a child. I confessed to him all that I felt previously. Here is what he said: I know. I know you hated me for calling you all the time when I needed money. I know you resented me for enquiring about your business and keeping taps on you. I know ya ali. I also know that you are GOOD. And I forgive you. What is money? It comes and goes. What is prestige? It comes and goes. What remains is our goodness and the promises we keep. I am gladly keeping the promise I made to your dad when he asked me once to look out for you while he is not there. I will keep it until I die ya ali whether you hate me or love me for it.
My whole being broke into many pieces that moment. The illusion of ” me” was shattered. This is UNHEARD OF. I called my father. I told him this. He asked me sternly, ” WERE YOU RUDE TO HIM?????”.. I said.. indirectly .. yes. He made me promise that I will make it up to this man. Oh I will. I will for sure. I will pay him a salary as long as I can. I will setup his family and sons. I will do ALL I can. Above all, I will be as polite to him as I am to my father.
People, no nation on the face of this earth can compete with the patience, faith and endurance of the bedouins of this desert. NO ONE. No One.
Over and out for some days… I need to resolve many things.