A Hologram for the King




SCRIPT FOR A GOOD MOVIE

1
You may find yourself
living in your garden shack
And you may find yourself
not at home in your home
And you may find yourself
looking for your large automobile
And you may find yourself
without a beautiful house
Without a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself
"Well, how did I get here?"
Same as it ever was,
same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Welcome to the Hyatt Jeddah.
I need you shiny
and bright here, Alan.
Look, we both know
the only reason you got this job
is your connection
to the king's nephew.
You're in charge of a deal
that's pivotal for the company,
which makes it
even more pivotal for you.
But you've got more questions
than answers here.
And that makes me
uncomfortable.
There are unanswered
questions here
because I haven't
been to Saudi yet.
I can't presume to know
the lay of the land
or the state
of the king's mind.
You've been on the bench
for a while, Alan.
This isn't
the Schwinn days.
You're not selling
bicycles to kids anymore.
So I need to know
that you're on point,
that you're going
to close this.
This is sales.
You make estimates.
And you make plans.
But then you get there
and everything changes.
But you make the sale.
I know, I'm sorry.
I got in really late last night
and I forgot
to set the alarm.
Don't worry, we're just getting set up.
Hold on. Do you guys know how
Alan can get a ride out here?
Maybe he should rent a car.
- Can you rent a car, Alan?
- I'll figure it out.
- Front desk.
- This is Alan Clay. Who am I speaking with?
- My name is Edward, sir.
- Edward. Where are you from, Edward?
- Jakarta, Indonesia, sir.
- Jakarta!
Indonesia. Edward,
what would you think
of me renting a car
through the hotel?
Do you have an international
driver's license?
No, I don't.
Then, no, I don't think it
would be possible to do this.
- Well, could I hire a car and a driver, then?
- Where to?
The King's Metropolis
of Economy and Trade.
Morning.
Excuse me.
- Are you Alan Clay?
- Are you the driver?
Driver, guide, hero.
Yousef.
Oh, no, no, no. I'm not a chauffeur.
Get in the front.
There's a water,
if you like.
You sure this thing
will get us there?
I drive this thing
to Riyadh all the time.
It never fails me.
Just one second.
- So, everything's okay?
- Oh, yeah, no.
I just had to disconnect the engine
before I came into the lobby.
- Why?
- To make sure no one wires it.
You mean hot-wires it
to steal it?
No, I mean wiring it
to explode.
No, no.
It's nothing terroristic.
This... just this guy who
thinks I'm screwing his wife.
He might be trying
to kill me.
Here we go.
- So, I'm in a car that might explode?
- No, no, no, no, no.
It's nothing to worry about. I don't think
he knows how to wire a car that way.
He's not a tough guy,
he's just rich.
It would only be possible
if he hired someone.
If you were
this rich guy,
you would hire someone
to wire the car
of the man screwing
your wife, yes?
Fuck. Now you
got me scared.
Anyway, Alan?
Where are you from?
Boston.
Ah, yeah, Boston.
I've been to Alabama.
One year of college.
- You studied in Alabama?
- Yeah.
Why Alabama?
You mean because I was the
only Arab for 1,000 miles?
I had a scholarship for
one year in Birmingham.
- Birmingham?
- Yeah.
Oh, I like Birmingham.
Are you hungry?
You want something to eat?
You mean like stop at a restaurant?
We just got in the car.
- We could go to a place in the old city.
- No, I'm in a hurry, remember?
Oh, you're late?
No, they didn't tell me you were late.
No, we should be going
this way if you're late.
- Do you like Chicago?
- Not in the winter.
- No, the band.
- Oh.
You know our love
was meant to be
The kind of love
to last forever...
- How long is the drive?
- To KMET?
- What?
- The King's Metropolis of Economy and Trade.
- We call it KMET.
- Yes, to KMET.
Is that where
we're going?
Just kidding.
It's about an hour.
- What time you supposed to be there?
- Eight, eight-thirty.
- Oh.
- Everywhere I go...
- You'll be there at noon.
- Always on my mind...
- Hey, want a mint?
- In my heart, in my soul...
No?
Baby, you're the meaning
in my life
Hey, you know what?
I don't like Chicago.
Oh. Okay.
Let's see what else
we have on here, huh?
Oh.
- Hey, so, why are you going to KMET?
- Work.
- Ah, you're in construction?
- No, I'm in IT.
Ah, IT. But you know there's
nothing happening there.
- Well, not yet.
- No, not ever.
I've done my due diligence.
I'm presenting out there.
It's full steam ahead.
Okay.
See for yourself.
Look, they're sweeping sand in a desert.
I'm guessing
these aren't union men.
Oh, we don't have unions here.
We have Filipinos.
- Ah, Mr. Clay?
- Yes.
We've been expecting you.
I'm Sayed.
Sayed.
Salaam alaikum.
I'm sorry to hear that
you missed the shuttle.
I understand the hotel
had some trouble waking you.
- I'm sorry I'm late.
- The king won't be coming today.
So your tardiness
is inconsequential.
Is my Relyand team
somewhere in here?
No, they're in
the presentation area.
- Follow me. Some juice?
- Oh, thank you.
So, Mr. Clay, allow me to conjure
Our Majesty's dream.
This is where
we are right now.
And this is the city
in the year 2025.
Hosting a minimum
of 1.5 million.
Port is there.
Industrial city.
University.
Business center.
Life and leisure park.
Very impressive.
I have to go.
Here, in case
you sleep in again.
Full steam ahead!
We'll see you at 3:00.
Over there in the main building.
Ask for Karim Al-Ahmad.
He's your primary contact.
- My team is in there?
- Yes.
- In a tent?
- Yes. I trust you'll find everything inside.
Howdy.
There he is.
Hey.
- Cayley. Brad. Good to see you.
- Alan.
- Rachel.
- Welcome.
So, how are you guys
doing in here?
Fine, but we can't
get a Wi-Fi signal.
Except for a faint one
from that big pagoda.
I mean
the office building.
- Asked anyone about it?
- We figured we'd wait for you.
We've been trying
to e-mail Karim.
Karim Al-Ahmad.
I have a meeting with him at 3:00.
- That's great.
- Which is soon.
Yeah, that's
not gonna work.
- But what if the king arrives today?
- He won't.
I was told
he wouldn't.
- Oh, good.
- And you've met him before?
The king?
No. No, no, no. I...
I just met his nephew.
And that
was years ago.
- Was he a prince?
- Yeah. Yes, he was.
And he still is.
What do you call
a fish with no eye?
- I don't know.
- Fshshsh.
Anyway, look, the king is not coming today.
So you guys can just relax.
Shouldn't we call corporate
and let them know
that conditions here
are untenable?
No, Brad, we should wait until I
talk to Karim Al-Ahmad at 3:00.
Do you know why we're
not in that building?
Well, maybe all the
vendors are in here.
And maybe
we're just the first.
Kind of weird being Relyand
and being out here.
It's a brand-new city.
It's uncharted territory.
And we are the trailblazers.
Where are we
supposed to eat?
Guys, come on!
We are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
With the deserts and the camels
and the sheikhs and the tents!
Oh!
Oh, my God!
Are you okay?
Yeah.
Don't you know?
They can only kill me
with a golden bullet.
Golden bullet,
you get it?
It's "Lawrence of Arabia"?
Who?
- Hello there.
- Hello.
- What is your name?
- My name is Maha.
Maha. Great.
Where are you from?
My name
is Alan Clay.
I'm with
the Relyand Group.
I have an appointment
at 3:00
to speak
to Mr. Karim Al-Ahmad.
I'm sorry to say
he's stuck in Jeddah.
He won't be able
to make it today.
- He's stuck in Jeddah?
- Yes, sir.
But he said he'll be here
tomorrow all day
and you can name the time
you want to meet.
Oh, okay, but I'm
with the Relyand Group
and we are out
in that tent down there.
And we can't get
a good Wi-Fi signal,
which is essential
to our presentation.
I think Mr. Al-Ahmad will be the
one to speak to about this.
- He's in charge of the vendors in the tent.
- Understood.
And any time tomorrow
will be fine.
It will all get sorted,
I'm sure.
Okay.
Thank you, Maha.
You don't know how to pay for college?
Sell the house.
How long does it take to
sell this fucking house?
- Ruby, I can't change the real estate...
- Bullshit!
Just sell it,
for Christ's sakes.
Then pay for your daughter's education.
College is your thing.
- Welcome to the Hyatt Jeddah.
- Good night, guys. See you in the morning.
- Hello?
- Hi, Alan. I've got Eric Randall for you.
- Okay, great.
- What do you mean he didn't show up?
Well, he got stuck
in Jeddah.
It's tomorrow now,
but we'll be fine, I'm sure.
Okay, but don't forget to call me
first thing after that meeting.
- I've got Mike Winston on the other line.
- Oh, put him through.
Hello, Kitty.
Hey, Dad. I hope your trip
is going well.
Is it hot over there?
A little dusty?
That's a joke.
I'm a joker.
Everything is fine here.
Not totally fine.
Mom called last night
and wanted to do what
she always wants to do...
blame you for everything.
But I'm fine missing
a semester or two of college.
I'm so sorry, Kitty.
It's actually doing me good.
Dad. It's okay.
I can use the break to rack up some
extra tip money. I'm good at this.
Yeah, but don't get used to it.
You're going to college.
Listen, Dad. I trust you.
Don't listen to Mom.
She said, "What's he doing in the desert?
His problems are here."
I told her that
you know what you're doing.
And then she gets on me
for taking your side.
She says I'm like you,
can't see the big picture, lacking ambition.
The usual bullshit.
Maybe just
prove her wrong, Dad.
Prove her wrong.
- Front desk.
- This is Alan Clay.
Is it possible for me
to get a beer or something?
I'm sorry, sir,
but consuming alcohol
is strictly prohibited
in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Ah, yes, of course.
- How about a Diet Coke?
- Diet Pepsi?
Sure, okay.
Thanks.
- Hello?
- Hey, Dad. It's Alan.
Alan? You sound like
you're on the moon.
No, I'm in Saudi Arabia.
Oh, what are you doing
in Saudi Arabia?
Well, it's actually
pretty interesting, Dad.
I'm here with Relyand,
and we're pitching a new
IT system to the king.
We have this remarkable
teleconferencing equipment
and we're presenting
to the king himself.
It's a three-dimensional
holographic meeting...
Know what I'm watching
on TV here, Alan?
No, what are you watching?
I'm watching this thing
on how a gigantic bridge
in Oakland, California,
is being built in China.
Can you imagine that?
They're building
our goddamn bridges.
I got to say, Alan,
when you took Schwinn over there to China
and sacked 900
of our homeland people,
I could see
the rest of it coming.
Makes sense if you're some
shitass bloodthirsty executive
hell-bent on hollowing out
the economy for his own gain.
Nature of the beast.
But the bridges?
I did not see it coming.
Oh, Lord, and you're
over there in Saudi Arabia...
- Dad, you're breaking up.
- ...selling holograms to the pharaohs!
- Are you there, Dad? You're breaking up.
- Now that takes the...
Oh, damn it.
God damn it.
- I missed my shuttle again.
- But it's my day off.
Just kidding. I'm available.
- How long do you need?
- 17 minutes.
Make it 23.
You were in the lobby
for, what, five minutes?
What kind of bomb could anyone
install in five minutes?
How would I know?
I watch the same TV shows as you.
- Ready?
- Don't make it more dramatic.
Whew.
- Hey, you like Electric Light Orchestra?
- Yeah.
The city streets
are empty now
The lights
don't shine no more
And so the songs
are way down low...
Hey, that's the mosque
I see from my balcony.
There was something
going on there yesterday.
- A lot of people.
- Yeah, that's where they do the executions.
You mean outside,
publicly?
Yes.
You want to go back and check
out what's going on now?
No! No.
Hey, do you mind?
Not at all.
Turnin' to stone
'cause you ain't comin' home
Why you ain't comin' home
if I'm turning to stone?
You've been gone for so long
and I can't carry on
Yes, I'm turning, I'm turning,
I'm turning to stone
The dancing shadows
on the wall
The two-step in the hall
Are all I see
since you've been gone
Turning, turning, turning
Through all I sit here
and I wait
I turn to stone,
I turn to stone...
Good morning.
- Do we have good Wi-Fi?
- Nope.
All right.
Hello.
Maha,
what's happening?
Excuse me?
- Is Mr. Karim Al-Ahmad in?
- I'm afraid he's not.
- He is in Riyadh today.
- You assured me he would be in all day.
I know, but his plans changed last night.
I'm so sorry.
Let me ask
you something, Maha.
Are you sure there
isn't someone I can talk to
about our presentation
to the king?
I'm afraid not. Mr. Al-Ahmad
really is your primary contact.
He'll be back tomorrow.
He guaranteed it.
Excuse me.
I'm sorry.
You look new.
Oh, hi. I'm supposed
to meet somebody.
- Are you Alan Clay?
- I am indeed.
Hello, my name is Hanne.
I work for Karim.
He's not going
to be in today,
so he told me
to look out for you.
Well, it's nice to meet you, Hanne.
Where are you from?
I was just about to have a smoke.
Join me?
- Water?
- Please.
- Wow.
- I know.
We live
like teenagers here.
Hiding our vices
from that...
shadowy army of parents.
- Oh!
- Oh, my God.
- Are you okay?
- I'm fine.
- Sure?
- Yes. Thank you.
Aw, that's...
I'm having a squabble with
the chairs in this kingdom.
- Sit with me.
- Yeah.
This is better.
- So you're from Relyand?
- Recently, yeah, yeah.
We hope to supply
the city with its IT.
But I'm trying
to get an idea
of the timeline of when
the king will come in.
I hope they didn't
make any promise to you.
Well, no. No, not really,
but I was led to believe
our process would
be fast-tracked.
Wow, that would
be good for all of us.
The king hasn't
been here in a while.
How long is a while?
Well, I've been here 18 months
and he hasn't been here yet.
How's the jet lag?
Have you adjusted?
Actually, I feel
like a pane of glass
that needs
to be shattered.
Oh.
Have you got pills?
No. No! I figured I'd be
executed at customs.
I have something
for you.
- Do you have good Wi-Fi here?
- Uh, sometimes, yeah.
But, you know,
Wi-Fi is the least of our problems.
There you go.
- Olive oil?
- That's what you tell anyone who asks.
Have a little taste when
you get back to the hotel.
I'm pretty sure it will
shatter your glass.
Okay, team!
Here's what I got.
One... no update yet
on the food.
Two... and I quote,
"Wi-Fi is the least of our problems."
And three... the king is coming,
just nobody knows when.
That's all
Mr. Al-Ahmad told you?
I didn't meet with him.
I will tomorrow, hopefully.
So, should we
set up today?
Yes. Unpack the rest
of the gear.
Check that
we're ready for showtime.
I think we should
expect the unexpected.
- This is Alan.
- I've got Eric Randall for you.
So, did you meet the guy?
Karim Whatshisname?
No, but I met his associate.
Very nice woman from Denmark.
From Denmark? And?
Really encouraging.
We should be ready to roll
by tomorrow afternoon, I think.
- Welcome to the Hyatt Jeddah.
- You mean the king is coming tomorrow?
- Bye, Alan.
- Probably not tomorrow,
but she said Mr. Al-Ahmad
will confirm specifics very soon.
What is that
supposed to mean?
Alan, half the board is calling
me just about every 20 minutes.
Steve Milligan on the line.
Jesus, you have to give me
something more exciting.
Okay.
Dear Kit,
you say that your mother
has always been emotionally unreliable.
That's true
to a certain extent.
But who among us is completely
stable all the time?
Dear Kit,
from this godforsaken hotel room
5,000 miles away,
I offer you this confession
and ask you
for your forgiveness.
I've made your short life
one of burden and worry
when you should have
been living carefree.
My penance for blowing it
is my being here, a salesman,
back going door-to-door,
with my own burden being
this mini hump on my back,
which is either a disease
about to eat my spine...
- Dad!
- ...or a sack of spiders growing under my skin.
- Dad!
- Your mother would be pleased either way.
Stop this, please.
Stop smoking, Kitty.
So, forgive me for not being
the father you deserve,
for not providing you with the
means to follow your dreams.
All I can do now,
and for who knows how long,
is hope an opening comes along
that I can somehow squeeze through...
and make things right.
Oh...
Ah!
Ah.
- Are you available?
- Alan, you sound terrible.
Were you run over
by a camel?
- Can you take me to KMET?
- Of course.
Are you missing
your shuttles on purpose
to spend more time with Yousef,
your guide and hero?
You are using
too many words.
Hey, do you like reggae?
So, where'd you get
the booze, huh?
- Excuse me?
- I know a hangover when I see one.
- Where did you get it?
- I would rather not say.
What, you think you might
endanger your source?
- Oh, you think that's funny?
- I do, yeah.
But, listen, you don't
need to go to KMET today.
There's no way
the king is coming.
He's in Yemen.
- Yousef, what are you doing?
- Taking care of you.
- Right here?
- Yeah, it's not too far.
Where are we going?
- Well, you said you wanted to try real Arabic food.
- I didn't say that.
You'll do great.
It's the best hangover cure in town.
Come on.
- That was her.
- Who?
The woman I shouldn't
be talking to.
Jameelah's her name.
A gorgeous girl.
Very beautiful,
you know?
But, unfortunately,
not very smart.
Sweet, but dumb
as a goat.
Anyway, she's married
to this older guy.
This older man
is very rich.
- But also a bit strange.
- Strange?
- I think he's some kind of international swinger.
- What does that mean?
- I think he goes to Europe and has sex with boys.
- So he's gay?
Gay? No.
You think that means he's gay?
Anyway, a few weeks ago,
she starts sending me these texts.
At first they were just bored,
like, "What are you doing?"
Blah, blah.
But recently they've gotten really sexy.
If he'd seen any of those messages,
I'd be dead.
She'd definitely be dead.
So she's jeopardizing
her life for these texts?
- Her again.
- Why do you talk to her like that?
- What do you mean?
- That lovey-dovey way.
It's like she is your girlfriend.
She's a sweetie,
you know?
- You need to sit down with him.
- What? No.
- No, no, no.
- You need to sit down with him,
and you gotta
look him in the eye
and you have to tell him you haven't
done anything with his wife.
- Because you haven't, right?
- No, nothing. Never.
You tell him this. This is how he
knows you're telling the truth.
You look him in the eye. Because if
you actually were screwing his wife,
- you'd never face him.
- Mm-mm.
Trust me.
This is how you handle this.
Alan, your back.
What is that?
I removed a scab.
Is it bad?
You want
to see a doctor?
Alan, where are you?
Why are you not out there?
- Because nothing is happening today.
- Why not?
- The king is in Yemen.
- Shit.
- And where are you?
- At the doctor's.
- Are you sick?
- No, it's nothing. Don't worry.
- I'll be fine. Don't worry.
- Okay, all right.
- But don't forget...
- I think I have to go now.
I'll talk to you in the morning.
Bye, Eric.
- Mr. Clay?
- Yes.
I'm Dr. Hakem.
Come inside.
Did you do
something to it?
- I did a bit of investigating.
- With what?
- A steak knife.
- Was this an attempt on your life?
No.
- Are you on medication? Prozac?
- I'm not depressed.
I was curious.
- I was just trying to see...
- You have a minor infection.
Well, what is it,
that thing?
I suspect
it's just a lipoma.
And that's not bad?
Well, if it's a lipoma,
then it's just a growth, like a cyst.
- So it's...
- Benign.
- Are you sure?
- No, to be sure, we'd need to do
a little bit more
investigating.
It's just that it's
so close to the spine
and I haven't
been well recently.
Not well?
Clumsy, slow,
lacking energy.
- Can you specify?
- I don't know...
I've lost direction,
I think.
And strength
and certain abilities.
- For instance?
- I've always been pretty good at...
...creating simplicity.
Making complicated things and
situations go smoother, easier.
So your feeling is that
this bump is the cause
of the loss of those
capabilities?
- And that's unlikely, is it?
- I would say it's unlikely.
We should do a
biopsy to make sure.
- A biopsy?
- Yes, and then we send it to the lab.
Great.
This has you
really worried, huh?
Oh, I'm worried
about a lot of things.
Okay, you can
change now.
I had the same thing
a few years ago,
like a tightening
in my chest.
When I got the EKG,
I was so sure I'd find out I had a murmur
or an irregular rhythm or something
that would explain the fatigue.
And?
And it was nothing.
- That's too bad.
- We're stuck with our stupid good health.
So, come back
on Sunday
- and we'll take look at the results, okay?
- Sunday?
- Our weekends are Friday and Saturday.
- Oh, right. Right, right.
- Will you be here on Sunday?
- Yes.
- I'll see you then, Mr. Clay.
- Thank you.
A woman doctor, huh?
- Where was she from?
- I don't know.
- But she was Saudi?
- Yeah, I think so, why?
We don't have
many women doctors,
so odds are against you running
into one at first opportunity.
- Was she veiled?
- Yeah, a hijab.
And you saw
her alone?
Interesting, interesting.
Hey, so what time
tomorrow?
Shut up.
Welcome
to the Hyatt Jeddah.
- This is Alan.
- Hey, it's Hanne.
- Good, how are you?
- I didn't ask you how you are.
- I guess I felt you should know.
- Okay.
- Are you already in bed?
- No, why?
- There's a party at the embassy tonight.
- At the Danish embassy?
Name, please.
Soren Kierkegaard.
City?
Copenhagen.
Vodka.
I'm looking
for Hanne.
Excuse me.
Hey, where
were you?
I don't know.
Where am I?
Let's make a mistake.
...higher, higher
Burning my desire
Baby, take me home
with you tonight...
Oh.
Okay.
You seem to have a plan.
I admire that.
- This is how much I excite you?
- I'm sorry. You're gorgeous.
But I can't help
but be distracted
by the fact that
I'm a little drunk...
- Mm-hmm.
- ...and I'm on the floor
of the Danish
ambassador's cloakroom
with a beautiful woman
I don't really know.
Mm. Ooh.
Would you take offense
if I tried something else?
I wouldn't
take offense, but I...
prefer if you didn't.
- So this is frustrating.
- Yeah.
What do you think we should
we do instead, then?
Would you like to hear
a really good joke?
- Hey, you like Elvis Presley?
- No! No!
What? Yes.
- Yes?
- Yes, just not now.
You know, your sleeping schedule
is beginning to worry me.
I had a really
weird night last night.
- Yeah? What...
- I can't talk about it.
- Why not?
- Because I promised not to.
Oh. Okay,
of course. Yeah.
Oof.
What has happened?
Hey, are you all right?
Yeah.
What happened
to the A/C?
It just
stopped working.
We've been asleep
about an hour, sorry.
Any chance of the king
showing up today?
No, he's
in Riyadh today.
All right, you know what?
I've had enough.
I'm gonna go up there
and come back with some answers
about the A/C
and the food and the Wi-Fi.
And at least some
semblance of a timeline.
Wow, Alan, where's all
this bluster coming from?
I don't know, Rachel.
But I promise to utilize it
to everyone's advantage.
Good morning.
Hello.
Hello, Maha. How are you?
Is Karim Al-Ahmad in today?
I'm afraid he's not.
And will he be in today?
- I don't think so, he's in New York.
- New York?
- What about Hanne?
- Hanne?
Danish girl,
works in payroll.
- I...
- I'll be all right. Thank you, Maha.
Excuse me.
Can I help you?
I'm looking for Hanne,
the Danish consultant.
I'm afraid she's in Riyadh today.
Can I help?
Alan Clay.
I'm with the Relyand Group.
Karim Al-Ahmad.
Karim...
Karim Al-Ahmad?
- You're not in New York?
- No, I'm not.
My apologies, Mr. Clay,
but I have to leave
for a meeting
and I'm already late.
Why don't you join me and we can
discuss a few things along the way?
Where to?
To that area of construction.
Where the condos are being built.
I'm meeting one
of the architects.
- Your receptionist said you were out today.
- I'm sorry, she's new.
- Were you here the last two days?
- No.
Nice.
- Would you like to drive?
- Oh, no.
Ah, please.
Be my guest.
I assure you, no other vendor
is more important to us
than the Relyand Group.
Well, that's very good to hear.
- But there are issues.
- Tell me.
We cannot set up
our presentation out there.
- Why not?
- Because we are in a tent.
I'm sorry, but that's the designated
presentation area.
- We need a hard line.
- I cannot do that.
We need very good
Wi-Fi at least.
I will have it fixed.
What else?
The air conditioning
doesn't work.
- My team is suffering.
- It will be addressed immediately. What else?
How do we eat?
We've been bringing food from the hotel.
After the weekend,
you will have catered meals every day.
Anything else?
How long will we be
waiting for the king?
Turn left here.
- Is it days? Weeks?
- I do not know. I don't know.
- Months?
- I hope not.
Wow.
I can see you must be driving
a sports car yourself in the US.
No, no, no.
It's an executive
privilege thing.
We used to have
private races down in Texas.
When you were
with Schwinn?
Yes.
I owned a Schwinn
bike as a kid.
- You did?
- Yeah.
I lived in New Jersey
for about five years.
And then later
in business school,
Schwinn was one
of our case studies.
Mm.
Interesting period.
This way.
Schwinns were made
in the US,
the Raleighs in England,
the Italian bikes, French...
For a time, you had real
international competition.
You were choosing between
very different products
with different heritages,
sensibilities, techniques.
- Well, that's gone now.
- What happened, in your view?
- I thought you studied our case.
- I did.
- Schwinn went to China.
- We did.
They could build our bikes a
lot cheaper and a lot faster
- and it seemed like a good idea at the time.
- But it wasn't?
Well, obviously not.
We taught them how to build
a good, solid bicycle.
They took that wisdom and started
making all the bikes themselves.
- Now they own the market.
- Because they can sell them for nothing.
But it's just a matter
of taking different stickers
and putting them
on the very same bikes.
It was built in the same factory
somewhere in Asia,
all the brands there are,
and now Schwinn is just one of them.
Do you ever feel you might
have done it differently?
- Me personally?
- You were on the board of Schwinn
when all that
happened, no?
Do you think there might have been
a way for the company to survive?
In America,
I mean.
It was complicated.
Hmm.
Do you know that some
of our people are already living here?
- Really?
- Yeah. You should take a look at one of the units.
Me? Why?
You'll be spending some time
implementing the IT plan, no?
Well, yeah.
If we get the job, yeah.
Excuse me.
Huh.
This is going
to take a few minutes.
Go ahead,
it's on the fifth floor.
The elevators
don't work just yet.
Take the stairs.
It's not a long way up.
Ring the doorbell at 501. There's a
man, Hassan, he'll show you everything.
I'll be with you shortly.
- Mr. Clay, I presume.
- Hassan?
Very good to meet you.
Come in.
Karim Al-Ahmad called me.
He apologizes, he had to leave.
He ditched me?
I don't know.
I was told to give you a ride.
Tea?
Or something
more compelling?
Would you have
a cold beer?
Of course.
- Oh, thank you.
- You're welcome.
So, you actually
live here?
No, this is the sales room.
I have a separate space upstairs.
Ah.
So, how's business?
Honestly, quite trying.
- Oh, that's too bad.
- We're not getting any firm commitments from anyone.
What about those restaurants you're
promoting downstairs? When do they open?
That's a bluff.
We haven't sold any spot
to these companies.
Welcome to the Hyatt Jeddah.
Salaam alaikum?
Yousef...
- I think I'm having a stroke or something.
- Alan?
Mr. Clay, don't sleep.
Look at me.
Have you been drinking?
Speak to me.
You'll be okay.
As I said, you're stuck
with your stupid good health.
Are you kidding?
What happened
to me?
I couldn't breathe.
It was scary.
I think it was the scare
that triggered the whole thing.
How do you mean?
Those symptoms
are usually indicators
of what we call
an anxiety attack,
which often leads
to a physical breakdown,
and what with your jet lag
and I'm sure this didn't help.
- Am I going to jail?
- No, nobody saw it. I think.
- You did.
- Yes.
Aren't you obliged to report I'm in
possession of illicit beverages?
No, but I don't think
you should drink this stuff.
It's bad for you.
We have better booze in Jeddah.
- I have a question.
- Yes?
- What are you doing here?
- You called me.
- I did?
- Yes, I was on a late shift.
I had just finished
an operation.
Thank you.
Alan! Alan.
Yousef.
- Salaam alaikum.
- Alaikum salaam.
- Oh, God, I called you, too.
- You worried me.
I'm sorry. Yousef,
this is Dr. Hakem.
- Oh, thank God.
- You get some rest.
- Try to relax over the weekend.
- Thank you, I will.
- What's going on?
- What do you mean?
What's this Saudi woman doing here
with you in the middle of the night?
Well, she's my doctor.
You know,
that's absurd, no?
You and
the Saudi woman doctor.
- What are you talking about?
- She might be married.
- For sure she has kids.
- Yousef!
There's a lot at stake
for a woman like her.
Yousef, stop it.
What is wrong with you?
I'm not having
an affair with my doctor.
I'm sorry, Alan.
- I'm sorry.
- Are you okay?
I heard some noises
outside my house.
I got out of bed. I saw three
men standing at the window.
I nearly crapped my pants.
- The husband?
- And his henchmen, yes.
They just stood there.
That was it.
- I have to leave town.
- Leave? Where to?
To my father's place in the mountains.
They won't go there.
That's my home village.
Everyone there will look out for me.
We have guns
and all that.
I'm sorry about
what I said before.
How long
is the drive?
- You like Rashed Al-Majed?
- Not bad.
It's my nephew, Salem.
He is coming, too.
- This is my nephew, Salem.
- Hey. Salaam.
- He's the grandson of my father's second wife.
- Ah.
- What are you?
- I'm the third son of his third.
My father
has four wives.
Welcome to the KSA.
Ah, I forgot about that.
Oh, sorry.
You know who.
What does that mean,
"Exit non-Muslims"?
Huh?
Yousef?
- What?
- Oh, shit.
- What's going on?
- I missed the exit back there.
Stop it.
Hey, stop it!
What's happening?
You're not allowed
to enter Mecca.
It's holy ground.
It's for Muslims only.
- What?
- I forgot, you know?
It's routine.
I always go this way.
Hey, want to get smuggled
through the holy city?
We can put you
in a thobe, you'll pass.
If we get stopped, just quote your
favorite verse from the Koran.
- So that's the famous mosque?
- Al-Haram, yes.
Al-Haram.
Wow.
Actually, would you mind
not looking at it?
Oh, sure, yeah.
Yeah, sorry.
Yeah, I'm sorry.
Ah, shit.
What does it mean
when you do that?
- Point up like that?
- That means "God will provide."
- And that works?
- It ends the discussion.
Cops.
- Salaam alaikum.
- Alan.
Alan.
- Hello.
- Want to come?
No, I'll take
a look around, okay?
- Salaam.
- Salaam.
- You need a ride?
- No, no, thank you.
I'm just out
for a walk.
Taking some pictures?
Yeah, it's
a beautiful place.
I was watching you
from above.
- You take a lot of pictures.
- Yeah, I guess.
- American?
- Yeah.
All these pictures.
You work for CIA or something?
Just a little
freelance work.
Nothing full-time.
- Alan!
- Sorry.
Sorry.
- We thought you'd been kidnapped.
- No. I was...
It was so beautiful,
I kept exploring.
What's with these rifles?
Ah, what I wanted
to show you, actually.
This one belonged
to my grandfather.
- Oh, that's beautiful.
- Yeah.
Hmm.
See, I thought you'd know
something about rifles.
I used to be a decent
marksman in my time.
Tonight, you want to hunt
some wolves with us?
- Wolves?
- Yeah.
Where? Here?
Yeah, apparently there's
some wolves killing sheep lately
and they're organizing
a hunt.
Looking for anyone
who can shoot.
Did you tell this guy
you're with the CIA?
Oh, he asked me
if I worked for the CIA.
I said I just did some part-time
freelance work for them.
Why would you
say this?
Well, it was a joke.
I was joking.
- He asked me... it was a ludicrous question.
- It's not ludicrous to him.
Now I have to convince him you're
not with the CIA. How do I do this?
Well, if I was from the CIA, I wouldn't
tell the first person who asked me.
- Shake his hand.
- What?
Shake his hand.
Shake his hand.
- You shouldn't have said that.
- I know.
- People don't like jokes like that.
- I knew as soon as I said it.
It's like joking you have a bomb
when you're in airport security.
That's the analogy
I had in mind, yeah.
Let's go hunting, huh?
That's where the sheep
was taken last.
- Were you ever in the army?
- No.
My dad was.
- Where?
- He volunteered in Korea.
- But you didn't want to join the army?
- Me? No.
- Why not? No good wars?
- Exactly.
But you would
have fought in WW2?
I would have gone, would've
tried to avoid the Pacific.
- And if you were young now?
- Yousef, why all these questions?
Are you thinking
of joining the army?
- Maybe.
- No, don't. Don't.
- Why not?
- No, you should go to college
and finish and give
yourself some options.
- There are no options here, Alan. You know that.
- Well, then leave.
I prefer to stay here
and have things be different.
It's nothing. It's just the sheep.
Hey, Alan.
Would you fight for us?
Fight for you how?
No one's going to invade
Saudi Arabia.
No, I know. I'm curious.
Just about individuals.
Probably. I think
we have a lot of people
willing to fight to support
people who want to be free.
And Americans
love a cause.
So if I start a democratic revolution here,
you would support me?
- Oh, is this your plan?
- No, I'm just asking. Would you?
- Of course.
- How?
- Well, I don't know.
- You would send troops?
- Me personally?
- No, you know what I mean. The US.
Send troops?
Not a chance.
- Air support?
- Nope. No.
- Shock and awe?
- Here? No way.
What about personally?
Would you personally come to support me?
- Yeah.
- That was quick.
- Well, I'm sure.
- You're crazy.
I'll be back.
Welcome
to the Hyatt Jeddah.
You'll... you'll wait
here for me?
So, you wait, right?
Mr. Clay?
- Yes?
- Come in.
Please.
I'm confused.
Am I not meeting Dr. Hakem?
Oh, no.
She's not in today.
But I've got these results
here from your biopsy.
- Please, have a seat.
- Yes.
Now, we found some
precancerous cells below.
- Precancerous?
- Yes. You should have it removed.
- Have what removed?
- The lipoma, the whole thing, and the sooner the better.
We can do it here.
It's not a big deal.
- When would that be?
- How about tomorrow?
Hi.
- What are you doing here?
- I'm sorry.
I'm sorry. Sorry.
- Wow.
- Alan.
- What did you do?
- Did you resort to bribery or coercion?
- We've got a great, solid signal.
- The food is amazing.
- We've been trying to reach you.
- I was out of town.
- Well, whatever you did, it worked.
- You're the man, Alan.
- So, are we ready?
- One sec.
- Hey, Dave.
- Hey, Brad.
How's it going?
Sorry.
- Gotcha.
- Me, too. It's a bit low-res, but...
- Let me adjust this.
- It's getting there.
There you are!
Show me your movement ratio.
- That should be your pretty face.
- Yup.
- And this is my hideout.
- Got it.
Let's check projection
stability with our favorite object.
Nice and easy.
So, is it really
happening today?
A great pleasure,
Your Majesty.
Your Royal Highness,
distinguished members
of the royal family.
For centuries,
business has been done
in the same manner
as friendships have been made.
With culture and language separated
by the mere distance of a handshake.
In Boston,
Massachusetts,
your friends at Relyand
have developed
a new technology
for virtual encountering
on a global scale.
Allow us to give you
a demonstration.
Hey, Alan.
Cheers.
Sticks and stones can
break my bones...
but holograms
can never hurt me.
Alan, you're on with Eric.
Nice work, Alan. Very nice.
Let's keep fingers crossed
they don't choke on our budget.
- Thrills galore.
- Yeah, and we'll know soon.
Well, maybe we should celebrate that.
Do you need a ride?
I think I should stay
with my team.
Yeah, okay.
Are you
the anesthesia man?
- Hello, Mr. Clay. How are you today?
- I'm fine, thanks.
Good. This is
Dr. Wei from China
and his assistant.
- They'll support me with the procedure.
- Dr. Wei from China.
- Hi.
- Let's do the marks here and antiseptic.
- Hello, Mr. Clay.
- Hello, Dr. Hakem.
I'm sorry I couldn't
be here on time.
I didn't think
I would see you again.
I'm taking over now.
The anesthetic should already work.
- Is that warm enough?
- Yes. Thank you.
Scalpel.
I will talk you through
the entire operation,
but it might be more
comfortable for you
to think of something
completely different.
A good person.
A nice memory.
Or something
you look forward to.
All right.
I will approach
the affected area now
with a small cut
adjacent to the lesion.
"He took no notice of the village
children and came enchanted
thinking
of Christmas Eve."
- You'll really love it. Just listen to this.
- No, Dad.
- You promised.
- It's a really great joke.
What?
Now that I've made
the necessary incisions,
you might feel some tugging
as I extract the cyst.
- You're beautiful.
- What are you doing here?
- I'm worried about a lot of things.
- It'll be okay.
There it is.
"Dear Dr. Hakem.
I hope this message
finds you well.
Your skill made
quick work of that cyst.
So I want
to thank you again.
I've been feeling increasingly
energized since the operation
and I've already
been able to transfer
that energy
to others successfully.
The only catch is
now I don't have anything
to blame my problems on.
That little growth explained everything,
and now it's gone.
I am sincerely grateful,
though, I think.
Alan Clay."
"Dear Mr. Clay,
even though it went
a little harder than I expected,
it was a simple extraction.
Usually the discovery that you're
not dying of a malignant tumor
leaves most people
with their spirits high.
But you are not
most people, are you?
Dr. Zahra Hakem."
"Dear Dr. Hakem, actually,
my spirits are very high indeed,
maybe too high.
I'm feeling a little dizzy.
The cause is mysterious.
But I have felt a strange
new lump in my back.
I'm no doctor, but it feels
like a rubber glove.
Is there a chance
you left one?
Sometimes people
leave things like gloves
with someone they like
in hopes their retrieval
will provide an excuse
to see that someone again.
Yours, Alan."
"Dear Alan, I actually
might have left something.
I'm thinking a sponge? Or maybe part
of a snack I ate during the surgery.
I think I need
to see you again.
Perhaps out of the hospital?
We don't want
to worry your insurers.
Zahra."
"Dear Zahra,
that's a very good idea.
But to tell you the truth,
I have no idea how this is done in the KSA.
I mean Mr. Alan Clay meeting
Dr. Zahra Hakem outside of the hospital.
And I hope it doesn't appear
too inappropriate to ask you for advice."
"I'll pick you up
on Wednesday at noon.
I'll write your initials on a card
and put it on the windshield."
- How are you today?
- Great, great. How are you?
Very good.
Water?
- I still need to apologize.
- For what?
The other day.
I invaded your privacy.
Oh. Those were unforeseeable
circumstances.
- You seemed troubled.
- I was.
I'm having legal issues
with my husband.
We're getting divorced.
It's ugly.
I had just returned
from court that morning.
And is it all
sorted out now?
It will be soon,
I think.
It's in his hands,
unfortunately.
- You mean legally?
- Yes.
Divorce is complicated
in this country.
It's pretty complicated
in all countries.
So, the drive will be
more than an hour.
By the time we get there, we'll know
everything important about each other.
- Okay.
- I have children.
- I assumed. Me, too.
- You assumed?
Well, maybe not assumed.
I assumed it was possible.
I thought you meant
you saw something in my hips.
You know, the way people can see
from the way a woman walks.
Oh, I'm not
that clever.
- Well, they're teenagers now. They live with me.
- What are their names?
Rania, she's 14,
Mustafa, he's 15.
I'm trying to prevent him from
becoming an asshole like his father.
Any advice?
- Does he tell you anything?
- Did you tell your mother anything?
Get him alone somewhere.
Something like camping.
I can't take my son camping.
We don't go camping here.
We don't live in Maine.
- How many kids do you have?
- One. A daughter.
Kit.
She's 21.
- Does she tell you anything?
- She does.
But I'm not sure...
- About what?
- Whether I'm helping.
Does she call you sometimes
with no particular agenda?
- Yeah.
- Then you're good.
What do you think our kids
would make of this?
How do you mean?
You and me?
- The big culture clash?
- I guess so.
Please. We're separated
by the thinnest filament.
Well, that's
the way I think.
That's the way it is.
- Wow.
- Yes.
Let me take
your jacket.
Oh, thank you.
Strange
in a beach house.
Everyone wants
to be somewhere else.
It's horrible,
isn't it?
My brother buys paintings
wherever he goes.
He has
the worst taste.
- Time to swim.
- Time to swim?
We're going swimming.
You'll borrow my brother's suit.
- You ready?
- I'm ready.
You go in.
I'll follow.
- Sorry.
- Oh!
Sorry.
- I didn't mean to scare you.
- It's all right.
I have to get under.
Neighbors.
I must warn you, though.
I'm dressed like you.
So if someone sees us snorkeling,
they'll think it's two men.
Just two backs uncovered wearing
men's trunks. You understand?
Wow.
Ah. Yeah.
What now?
Take a deep breath.
And then let it out slowly.
It's been a long time.
Yeah. Same here.
How long?
I don't know.
Me neither.
I can hardly remember.
I have a story.
I've been thinking about it
since we spoke about your son.
Ah, please, tell me.
My father and I...
went camping
a few times.
- Camping again?
- This is not about camping.
I was eleven or twelve.
Yeah, this one time,
he brought me up to New Hampshire.
It was cold,
'cause it had snowed
a week before.
And we drove
into this national park.
And we parked and we walked
deep into the woods
for four hours, at least.
And the sun was already falling,
so we stopped.
No sign of any civilization
in any direction.
I thought he had
a plan, you know,
but he acted like he had just
figured out the math of it all...
That we weren't gonna
get back before dark
and the night
would freeze us solid.
Not to mention the prospect
of wolves, bears.
- Wolves and bears?
- Yeah.
So he asked me,
"What should we do, son?"
And I realized
this was some kind of a test,
so I thought of all
the Boy Scout stuff I knew
and I said,
"Build a shelter?"
So we got started and we took
turns chopping and tying.
We set it up there,
a perfectly respectable A-frame.
We collected fronds from the pine trees
and lined the bottom with them.
And he says,
"Alan, what do we need now?"
And I knew.
We needed a needle and thread.
Or... duct tape.
For what?
To make a sleeping bag
out of our clothes.
We cut up our jackets
and we taped them together
and made a big, wide
sleeping bag.
And we slept there
in our long underwear.
- And you shared the sleeping bag?
- We did.
And I must say,
when we were all settled in there,
it was really warm.
And you didn't
have a fire?
No fire.
Just each other.
And in the morning?
We taped our jackets back
together and went home.
Good.
Hey, Kit.
I'm writing to tell you
that I'm postponing
my return
to the United States
and I don't know
for how long.
The deal I was working on
here in Jeddah didn't happen.
A competitor from China offered
the same technology a lot faster
and at half the price.
I shouldn't have been surprised,
but there I was, surprised.
So, Kit, the money part
of our lives is not solved just yet,
but I'm working on it.
I've taken a new job here
which pays pretty well.
It should be enough even to get you
back into school next semester.
Keep believing, Kit,
'cause I believe in you.
You're strong and young
and you have time.
I'm not so young,
but I have to tell you,
there's a force
in my life now
that makes me
feel strong again.
And I feel that there's time.
There must be time
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About Ali Haji

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