Gideon's Qu'ran

Yes, I'm still in the Love Boat Hotel. Hopefully, I'll be out of here in a couple of weeks and then living on a western compound where I can finally unpack and get organized. This place, however, is fine in the interim. It's clean, it's safe, and I get a breakfast before I head out to work. It's not a tent where I'm billeted with 25 of my best friends like I had for the first two months in Afghanistan.

Every hotel room in Saudi Arabia contains everything a devout Muslim requires for daily prayer -- and there's five opportunities every day to engage in that behavior. So, what does a good Muslim need to pray? Well, one needs a prayer rug and a Qu'ran (Koran). Included inside every armoire are these handy items:

 Islamic prayer rug and Qu'ran.

Islamic prayer rug and Qu'ran.

The other important consideration is which direction Mecca lies. As most everyone knows, Muslims generally pray in the direction of the Ka'bah (Kaaba) located in Mecca. But what's a good Muslim to do when he (and I do mean "he") is staying in a strange hotel room and unsure of the direction of Mecca? I suppose there's an iPhone and Android app for that in today's world, but for those Muslims who don't have modern technologies available, there's another solution. Every hotel room has an approved decal with an arrow pointing towards Mecca. I knew this when I arrived, but it took me until today to locate it (although I wasn't really too engaged in finding it). While I was propped-up on the couch reading a book today, I glanced up and finally found the elusive decal. Here it is:

 Arrow pointing the way to Mecca for those requiring a nontechnical means of direction finding.

Arrow pointing the way to Mecca for those requiring a nontechnical means of direction finding.

I'd be a lot happier if I knew the direction to the local pub.