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Sana Uqba

Four awkward Trump moments in Saudi Arabia

Donald Trump took part in the traditional Saudi 'Ardah' dance [Getty]

Date of publication: 22 May, 2017

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Donald Trump visited Saudi Arabia this weekend and, let's just say, some awkward things happened.
Saudi Arabia pulled out all the stops for Donald Trump's first official visit as president of the United States on Sunday, draping him with the kingdom's highest honour, producing a (frankly disappointing) Arabic-English "welcome song" and forcing senior White House figures to awkwardly take part in a traditional sword dance.

The kingdom's royals seemingly went above and beyond, rolling out the red carpet for their new ally this weekend, producing gestures that were deemed highly over-exaggerated, and naturally, mocked across the online world.

1. The 'honorary' award

Upon arrival, Trump was awarded with Saudi Arabia’s highest civilian award, the King Abdulaziz Medal, which caused a stir online. While Americans debated whether their leader "bowed" to the king of Saudi Arabia, many condemned the move, considering Trump's history of anti-Islam rhetoric.

 2. The song

Written by Husain al-Yami and sung by the world famous Iraqi-born Saudi national singer, Majid al-Muhandis, as well as Abdallah Rashad, Salute them is a bi-lingual Arabic-English track which attempts (keyword) to welcome the American guests to the kingdom.

‘Hospitality is our trait// from Saudi to the States// we are happy to say// welcome, welcome USA’ 

‘Twenty-thirty is the way// And our focus every day//We are proud to say// The future is KSA’

It's practically Shakespeare.



3. The sword dance

The 'Ardah' dance was traditionally performed after Saudi military achievements, however the sword dance has become iconic during special occasions across the kingdom. Men (obviously), donning the traditional white robes, stand in a line and sway back and forth while holding a sword.

Lines of poetry are also recited during the performance while guests, in this case, Donald Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon, awkwardly sway in their suits, with awkward smiles, awkward looks, and general all-round awkwardness.

4. The glowing orb

Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia marked the inauguration of a new centre in Riyadh aimed at fighting extremist ideology. To mark the "iconic event", someone clearly thought it would be a great idea to bring together Saudi King Salman, Trump and Egypt's Abdelfattah al-Sisi around a glowing white orb. Because that's not weird at all, right?

 
As The Donald moves on to Israel, we're sure this will be the end of the public awkwardness... right?

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