Ameen Rihani on Ibn Saud
Ameen Rihani on Ibn Saud
Ameen Rihani was an American of Lebanese origin who spent time with Ibn Saud in the 1920s.

"I have now met all the Kings of Arabia and I find no one among them bigger than this man. He is big in word and gesture and smile, as well as in purpose and self-confidence. His personality is complex The shake of his hand and the way he strikes the ground with his stick proclaim the contrary traits of the man He gives you the report about yourself and then pats you on the back telling you that he knows better. He gives you at the first meeting a bit of his mind and his heart, without fear, without reserve He knows himself as well as he knows his people. Hinna l -Arab (we are the Arabs)! The man in him is certainly bigger than the Sultan, for he dominates his people with his personality, not with his title Strange, indeed. I came to Ibn Saud with an unburdened heart, bearing him neither hatred nor love, accepting neither the English view of him nor that of the sherifs of Al-Hijaz. I came to him in fact with a hard heart and a critical mind, and I can say that he captured my heart at the first meeting. Admiration, however, and love may not go together all the way. We shall see. I promised to be free and open-minded with him. He gave me the privilege, and promised to be the same with me I think I can trust my first impressions, however, and I am not reluctant. Moreover, I have now a gallery of Kings for comparison And I am glad I came last to Ibn Saud."

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