There's no smoke without fire. If this saying has ever made sense, it is now. The fire has been lit up by a Saudi prince with dreams and visions way bigger than his political expertise. 

Crown Prince Mohammad lit up the fire alright. He also mounted a huge cooking pot above it and started throwing in ingredients like Qatar, the U.A.E, Bahrain, Egypt, and Jordan with a touch of American seasoning and the promise of an Israeli garnishing. The problem, however, is with his cooking techniques. This wishful chef does not seem to know that not all meats are cooked the same and to get the best results, you almost always have to slow-cook your ingredients. Plus, you have to lead your kitchen assistants wisely and treat them well so you don't lose their alliance and weaken your kitchen's product output quality. 

The result, so far, is that the Qatari ingredient has become unavailable, the Egyptian ingredient's farmers are becoming furious with the unappreciative handling of their product, and the Jordanian ingredient is very ready to be shipped to the competitor's restaurant kitchen soon. 

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As for the kitchen helpers, almost all of the experienced ones have already lost their allegiance to the new young chef after the cooking seminar he made them undergo in the Ritz-Carlton Hotel. The American seasoning is a ready-made product available to the highest paying customer but the Israeli garnishing is too precious to be applied to a badly cooked dish. 



Across the street from where Chef MohammaBin Salman's restaurant is, you can find his major competition. The restaurant with the kitchen run by a Persian gastronomy artist who is in the final stages of forming a joint venture with a Turkish chef. This Iranian master of slow-cooking has the Russians supporting him with all the technical kitchen necessities; the friendship with the Russians is actually so firm that they even sent in kitchen assistants when the Iranian chef was conducting workshops in Syria. 

The Qatari ingredient has no other choice than to go to the Persian kitchen now that its new general agent, the Turk, has become a partner there. The Egyptian sole exporter agent is eventually yielding to the farmer union's dismay with the current importer and if the American seasoning company's marketing spokeswoman Nikki Haley executes her threats, his products will only make the Iranian recipe richer in taste. As for Jordan, it's already halfway there. 

If Mohammad Bin Salman gets to survive the coming revenge campaign from his jailed and tortured cousins and their respective tribal allies, he will have a problem surviving the Sunni fury. His predecessors did well in disguising their Wahhabism in a Sunni cloak but he doesn't seem to have inherited this skill. 

Qatar is hurt and Qatar is no easy foe. It now has a Turkish bodyguard whom the Saudis have given enough reasons to display animosity towards them.  

Egypt is the huge regional military power that shares, with Iran, more than simple disappoint with the Saudi behavior. Egypt shares a Shiite tendency with Iran; it is probably the only overwhelmingly Sunni country where it's normal for the population to visit the Imam Hussein shrine. Even in their daily conversations, many Sunni Egyptians will swear by Imam Hussein. 

The most interesting factor in all this formula is Jordan. It is the little country that has not only given refuge to Palestinians, Jordan gave them nationalities and protected their dignities more than any other Arab country. All this in spite of Palestinian bloody insurgencies against the government. Jordan also gave refuge to Iraqis (many of which Shiites) escaping Saddam's wrath although Saddam was a close ally of King Hussein. 

The main reason for Jordan's kindness is the fact that Kings Abdallah II and, his father, Hussein are Hashemites and direct descendants of the Prophet Mohamed and thus, raised by the norms of their ancestor; namely to protect and assist any person on their territory.  

The main issue with Jordan is that its king actually belongs to a dynasty that ruled the Arab world through their legitimate control of Mecca for over 700 years. Their leadership role over the region and its tribes only ended in 1925 when the British decided to give power to the house of Saud. 

King Abdallah II of Jordan can't be blamed for having a bitter taste in his mouth because of the family's loss of its true position to the Saudis. Even in day to day basis, the manner of ruling practiced by King Abdallah II of Jordan is very different than that of the house of Saud. An observer can see this from the level of loyalty and love the Jordanians have for their king as opposed to the situation in Saudi Arabia. 

A seasoned king whose father was an acclaimed diplomat and whose direct ancestor is the most important figure in the Islamic world will naturally find it hard to accept offense from a crown prince who happens to belong to the tribe that stole Mecca from him. Therefore, Iran suddenly becomes a good ally. The Persian's are basically Shiites because of their allegiance to Imam Ali whose blood runs in King Abdallah II's veins. Friendship with Iran is not far-fetched. Official representatives of Jordan have already begun opening doors to better Iranian relations. 

The Middle East is being reshaped because of Mohammad Bin Salman's unintentional diplomatic gifts to Iran. The old Arab power recipe had failed to reach real peace in the region; let's hope the evolving new cookbook can do it. 


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