Donald Trump’s traveling circus will be going on the road this weekend on a four-country tour starting with Saudi Arabia, one of the few places outside of the Rust Belt where he’s still strangely popular.
Actually, maybe that’s not so strange, considering Saudi Arabia is a non-democratic country with a passion for gaudy opulence. So in many ways, Trump and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are a perfect fit, which may explain why some Saudis are delighted by the president’s visit and ready to welcome him with open arms.
Some Saudis even seem to believe Trump’s hype and echo claims that he is going to bring “everlasting peace” to the Arabian Peninsula and solve the 60-year Israeli-Palestinian conflict (something he’ll have to read about on Wikipedia on the plane ride over).
Saudis have started the trending Arabic Twitter hashtag which translates as: #Welcome_Trump_InTheLandOf_ Determination
Infamous Saudi Twitter tweep Fadh Al- Montashiri wrote: “#Welcome_Trump_InTheLandOf_ Determination In the beginning I didn’t hope for Trump to win, but after bombing Syria and threatening Iran no one said no to him, he will return glory to America”
ترامب م كنت اتمنى يفوز برئاسة ولكن بعدين اثبت انه كفو يكفي ضرب سوريا ويهدد ايران ولاحد قال بم رجع هيبة امريكا.داوم
— فهد المنتشري (@fhoedi) May 17, 2017
Some Saudis even seem to share Trump’s delusions of grandeur.
“Trump will come to our land to ask our King for forgiveness and sympathy from the most powerful country on the planet, long live my country.”
#ترامب_يفتتح_زياراته_بالسعوديه في الوقت الراهن السعوديه أهم أربع دول في العالم ولذلك اختار السعوديه مرحبا به
— مشهورالشمالmashhur (@mashor97) May 4, 2017
Others, meanwhile, are asking Trump to give them a ride out of town.
— يتيم ف ليالي العاصمة (@allou0) May 17, 2017
Meanwhile some Saudis seem more interested in Trump’s daughter and wife.
— #Nas (@prence90) May 17, 2017
You are more than welcome mr TRUMP can you not steal our money please and don’t 4get 2 say hello 2 your daughter💔#مرحبا_بترامب_بدوله_الحزم
— ✨iTtAkEs2tOTaNgO✨ (@abo_azoooooz64) May 17, 2017
مرحبا بك ي ترامب بس جب الربع معك pic.twitter.com/4gjqcDLSFb
— حِسّ (@7s__999) May 4, 2017
But not everyone is excited about Trump’s visit. Many Saudis remember when Trump told CNN’s Anderson Cooper that “Islam hates us,” then watched as his administration attempted to impose a series of slapdash Muslim bans during his first 100 days in office.
So for many, the U.S. president’s choice to visit the center of the Islamic world —a country that’s home to 31 million Muslims—as the first stop on his first foreign visit sends a very confusing message indeed.
Then again, what about his presidency makes sense anymore?
#Trump is due to visit Saudi Arabia, home to 20 million Muslims. What if they ban him until they “can figure out what the hell is going on.”
— Frankp (@FrankJPaladino) May 17, 2017