An American diplomat with a strong passion for Arabia, a fine sense of irony and of unbeatable optimism, Mark Hambley in 1979 was a young political-military officer at he beginning of his career at the US embassy in Jeddah. His expertise, skills and innate talent for diplomacy based on personal relationships quickly let him become the key person for all US operations during the Mecca crisis. It was Hambley's personal intervention that produced first concrete evidence for the White House that the event was unrelated to Khomeini and Iran. But never did he underestimate this  most threatening attack on the Al-Saud rule since the Kingdom's foundation in 1932.