In the Middle East the village headman is usually referred to as the Mukhtar, the chosen one, chosen by the ruling force in the country, selected to administer the district with the backing of the government's money.
I watched the show in the reception palace in Riyadh with eyes that may have seen the proceedings differently than many other people.
What I saw was a carefully staged spectacle in which the Saudis brought together most of the political leaders in the Islamic World to witness President Trump's acceptance of Saudi leadership in the Middle East.
In the Arab World when someone submits to you and accepts your money as a follower and tool, the culturally authentic thing to do is to make the experience as painless as possible.
The Saudis will now expect that the US will understand that their $110 billion in defense purchases and $40 billion in contributions from the Saudi state's sovereign wealth fund will buy power in Washington and that their carefully and politely stated demands will be greeted with great receptivity in the future.
The Israelis are a bit shaky about this? Well, pilgrims, they should be. They have spent a lot of time and effort and a fairly limited amount of money constructing an apparat in AIPAC that successfully manipulates both US policy and public opinion. And now the Saudis have simply bought the same thing with all that money? This must be disheartening for the Israelis and their supporters in the US.
The "rub" will come of course when the Saudis try to crack the whip over Trump. pl