The city had already begun to revert back to its historic and real masters: sheiks and imams, the white-robed religious clerics.
Japanese geishas and Arab sheiks are also obtusely name-checked.
Until a few months ago, nearly all contact between the U.S. embassy and the anti-al Qaeda sheiks had ceased.
"head of an Arab family," also "head of a Muslim religious order," 1570s, from Arabic shaykh "chief," literally "old man," from base of shakha "to grow old." Popularized by "The Sheik," novel in Arabian setting by E.M. Hull (1919), and the movie version, "The Sheikh," 1921, starring Rudolph Valentino, which gave it a 1920s sense of "strong, romantic lover."