Saudi Arabia: This is Bandar…

I spend time reminiscing about my late husband and all the variety of experiences we have either shared together or shared with one another.  I was thinking of one experience that he shared with me that put a smile on my face and thought I’d share it with you.

My late husband worked for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, DC from 2002 until 2006.  Most everyone who worked there had high pressure jobs and worked hard.  They also knew how to play hard as well and especially liked to play practical jokes on one another.

One diplomat seemed to always be working under deadlines and knew that his reports would be personally read by HRH Prince Bandar bin Sultan, who was the Ambassador during this particular period.  As a result, some of his colleagues would call his extension and when he answered the phone, they’d muffle their voices saying “This is Bandar.  Where’s the report?” and hang up the phone.  He quickly caught on this was the way his colleagues liked to have fun with him.

There was one night that the diplomat was working late putting finishing touches on a report.  His phone rang.  He answered and there was the usual “This is Bandar.”  He was too busy for games so he hung up the phone.  Thirty seconds later the phone rang again.  Again the voice said “This is Bandar.”  He hung up the phone again.  He did not have time for their games.  Five minutes later there is a quick knock on his door and it opens.  He looks up from his desk to see Prince Bandar standing in the doorway.  Of course this diplomat jumps up showing proper respect with simultaneous surprise on his face to see the Prince in his office!

Prince Bandar said he had to personally come down to see why someone kept hanging up each time he identified himself on the phone.

(nb: it was very common when Prince Bandar made direct calls he would simply say “This is Bandar” when the call was answered.)

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9 Responses

  1. Haha…oops! 🙂

  2. So, did he tell the truth to Prince Bandar?

  3. When this diplomat told Prince Badar the reason, did he see the funny side; and what did he do afterwards, tell everybody not to do this scenario again so when he did phone, he was answered immediately?

  4. Sorry to say: In Urdu language Bandar is “Monkey”. I do not know the meanings of Bandar in Arabic,must be some good meanings.

  5. LOL @ Sami’s comment. Now I’m curious what Bandar means in Arabic. I was just talking to an Arab friend on Facebook earlier this week about names across cultures. For instance one Arab friend finds our using Caleb and Doug funny as the former is very close to the Arabic word for dog (and dogs aren’t as well thought of by Arabs as they are in the US for the most part) and Doug,of course, sounds similar to dog.

    The word Nael and I were talking about, however, was Anas because I posted a picture of this restaurant where we ate three years ago this past week. I was doing a “Remembering Syria” album on Facebook. Anyway…I like name talk like that.

    My US friends sometimes write my name “Susa” online and a friend who lives in Singapore said “susa” was “difficult” in Malay (if I remember correctly.) That amuses me whenever I think of it. 🙂

  6. Thank you for sharing Bedu! That was so funny. It could have been right out of Vie de Merde!

  7. My friend didn’t know what it meant in Arabic, but when he looked it up Bandar meant “port” or “haven” in Persian.

  8. Bandar is a common name in the Arab world.

    Prince Bandar is known for his good sense of humor!

  9. Thank you, Vanessa Wright. You are welcome. May God bless you.

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