'Qahwa' in Saudi Arabia

Posted by Emily Abraham
March 5, 2013
Secretary Kerry Drinks Coffee With Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal

As Secretary Kerry landed in Riyadh to begin the Gulf leg of his journey, he was invited by Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal to enjoy a cup of Saudi coffee in a traditional welcoming ceremony, a first stop often made even before departing the airport terminal in the Kingdom.

Taking time to sip hot cardamom-infused qahwa from a small cup accompanied by fresh dates is the standard welcome provided by any host in the Kingdom, and the ceremony is steeped in etiquette, whether the cup is offered by the youngest son pouring rounds for guests in private homes or by waiters circling tables at a grand banquet hall.

It was only the first of many ceremonial coffees offered during a trip filled with bilateral meetings on a broad range of shared concerns, as Secretary Kerry met not only with Saudi officials including Crown Prince Salman and Foreign Minister, but also with the Foreign Ministers of Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas -- an aromatic pot steamed next to a plate of golden belah dates outside nearly every meeting in Riyadh.

Comments

Comments

Henry
|
United States
March 6, 2013

Henry in the U.S.A. writes:

The Saudi regime is more corrupt and despotic than any of the other nations in the region where the US has demanded regime change, including Syria, Libya and Iraq. And unlike those countries, the Saudi government has a documented role in the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center. Why has President Obama reneged on his pledge to declassify the material from the Senate 9/11 hearings on that topic?

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