Early mornings in the desert are almost a lovely as the sunsets. Often a bright green burst precedes the emergence of a giant orange ball. Abdul always arose early so he could exercise and make his body fit for Allah’s service. He ran hard along the lakefront for about eight kilometers until the sun was fully up over the lip of the earth. He found a high point on one of the dunes a short ways off from the tent, where he could view Saudi Arabia as he exercised and lay down in the sand to begin his 500 ab crunches and sit-ups. Flopping over on the already warm sand, he did a hundred push-ups and then stretched for about fifteen minutes. He would call the stretching exercises tai chi, but that would give another culture too much credit for his low heart rate and general overall fitness. Barely out of breath, he returned to the tent, took his prayer rug from his bag and spread it out in the sand behind the tent. This was always a special time for Abdul, and he milked every routine second of it. He spread the rug out evenly, knelt, and prayed for courage to do the work he must do.
Aida Al-Sahri, the younger of the two women who served in Dr. Abu’s tent, had a plate of fresh fruit and yogurt waiting for him as he emerged from the sweet water shower in the back of the lodging. You could always get sweet fresh fruit in the Arabian Gulf, mostly coming from Saudi Arabia and Northern Africa.
“Would you care for some tea, Dr. Surima?”
“Coffee, actually, please. Five spoonfuls of sugar, please.”
“Dr. Surima, it is a pleasure being here with you and Dr. Abu. We are most happy to serve you. Please excuse me.”
Moments later Dr. Abu emerged from his bedchamber and joined Surima, coffee cup in hand.
“The ship arrives in six days,” he began. “It will be a grand moment. The boy arrives three days before and we will present him at the Sheikha MozahMosque in Doha. The Emir is not aware of it, but his Imam will work with us to encourage him and his wife to be present that morning. The Emir, as you know, has his own private mosque on the Palace grounds for his family to use, but that day he will take a private car to the mosque for this special prayer time.”
“Where will the boy be kept before his momentous appearance?”
“At the Al Gebab Mosque. It is out of the way and very special in the eyes of many Qataris, being made entirely of coral, mud, and wood, all gifts of the sea.”
“Do we know which ship will be our deliverer?” Surima asked.
“Their newest Q-flex ship, the Al Gharrafa. It is the pride of the Qatargas LNG fleet. But that is enough questions for today. Enjoy your breakfast, my brother. Then let us pray together for Allah’s blessings on our endeavor.”
Qatargas, the world’s largest distributor of liquefied natural gas, LNG, has developed a new fleet of super tankers, built in Korea, and designed to carry LNG in giant ultra-safe turtle-like-tanks aboard ships that dwarf previous super tankers in size and capacity. Their fleet is comprised of Q-flex and K-max ships that are the rival of the world. All of them hold between 210,000 and 266,000 cubic meters of liquefied gas for the energy needs of the world, carrying it to Japan, India, and the Americas. The Al Gharrafa had only recently returned from the United States, having made its first delivery and had made an unadvertised trip to Israel earlier in the year. This particular ship was leased to RasGas, a French-owned LNG company, but would be bequeathed to Allah for all eternity.
Actually several companies representing business interests in the US, UK
“The meddling black American is dead,” Al-Hassad whispered to his associate, breaking the mood. “Money has been sent to his bank account to raise suspicions, and any ties to you have been eradicated. Our supplies are enroute and will arrive at Ras Laffan and University City in Doha within the week. I know your passion for promptness. Everything is proceeding as you desire. The black American was, as you would say, une complication sans reason, an unnecessary complication. He never should have learned of the details in his possession, but that little Irani boy he was traveling with was an incredible pest. That is my fault, mon ami, I allowed a lapse of judgment that will not ever, in shallah, occur again.” Actually there was also a sensuous woman involved with his lack of judgment, but Al-Hassad did not share that detail with his colleague.
About the Author
William C. Jeffries is a prolific author, international consultant, senior executive coach, and leader of outdoor team building adventures. For twenty-four years he served in the US Army, stationed in Southeast Asia, Europe, South America, and the United States. For seven years, Colonel Jeffries taught English, philosophy, and ethics at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and later taught Joint Operations and Military Ethics on the faculty of the National War College. Since leaving the army, he has founded an international consulting company that works with 89 of the Fortune 500 Companies and has taught or lectured in Executive Education at:the US Naval War College, Georgia Tech, Carnegie Mellon, LSU, University of Pittsburgh, University of Georgia, Old Dominion University, The University of California at San Diego, and CMU, Qatar.