- A photograph of President Donald Trump, the president of Egypt, and the Saudi king touching a sinister-looking glowing orb in 2017 went viral, with many people saying they looked like plotting supervillains.
- Now, the fate of the orb has been revealed in a new book about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, named “MBS.”
- According to the book, US diplomats loved playing with the orb so much that it was gifted to them and taken to the US Embassy in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
- But the orb was quickly put in storage over fears that pictures of staff touching it would leak to the media and cause embarrassment, the book said.
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On May 22, 2017, President Donald Trump, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman touched a sinister-looking glowing orb, yielding numerous memes suggesting they were evil supervillains launching a plan to end the world.
The world leaders had actually been in Riyadh, the kingdom’s capital, to inaugurate the new Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology, and putting their hands on the orb started a film about the center.
But the orb’s use did not stop that day, according to “MBS,” a new book about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, written by New York Times reporter Ben Hubbard. Business Insider obtained a copy the book before its March 10 release.
American diplomats had been so fascinated with the orb that Saudi authorities gifted it to the US Embassy in Riyadh, the book said.
“It sat in a hallway for a number of days, where diplomats passing by would pose for photos,” Hubbard wrote.
But it was not allowed to linger in plain sight for long.
“Someone apparently worried that the photos would make their way online and cause a scandal, so the orb was hidden away in embassy storage,” he said.
Here are some of the memes that came out of the moment:
—Shahak Shapira (@ShahakShapira) May 22, 2017
—The Church Of Satan (@ChurchofSatan) May 22, 2017
—mr cant spell good (@KrangTNelson) May 21, 2017
—Anthony Oliveira (@meakoopa) May 21, 2017
- Read more:
- I visited a McDonald’s in Saudi Arabia to see how it compared to the US and UK, and can say the McArabia and Chicken Mac are a force to be reckoned with
- I went to Saudi Arabia’s national museum, and it’s clear how proud the kingdom is of its longstanding, controversial alliance with the US
- I took a Careem, the ride-hailing app Uber snapped up for $3 billion to dominate the Middle East. It was clear why Uber wanted it.
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