FLIGHT FROM DHAHRAN by John with Clyde Burleson MeDonald


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An American businessman's mishaps in treacherous Saudi Arabia. With his partner in a Houston-based construction firm, McDonald agreed to a contract worked out by Saudi businessman-shill Sulirnan Nasir Rasi, and began arrangements in Dhahran to begin building. After a year of preliminaries and the expenditure of $118,000, he still hadn't seen any Saudi money and found himself forever being put off. Meanwhile Suliman was leaning on him for his $6,000 baksheesh--which McDonald wasn't about to pay without first seeing some Saudi cash. So, as he tells it, Suliman had him arrested and had his passport taken. The vise clamped down. McDonald was in and out of legal squabbles (complicated by Sandi reliance on the Koran in lieu of a legal code), and in and out of squalid jails. Execution of the contract was repeatedly thwarted. Yet McDonald was reluctant to throw up his hands and give up the Big Opportunity. Finally, deciding that he must get out, he built a crate for shipment to Holland, climbed in, and flew air-freight to freedom--spending a total of 60 hours in his cramped, suffocating box. A repellent picture of Saudi life (groups of publicly-masturbating males, for instance) that does no particular credit to McDonald either--but his own tale proceeds at a fast, edgy clip.

Pub Date: Oct. 20th, 1981
Publisher: Prentice-Hall