I can empathize, since I have also received lavish gifts from Arab states in the course of my official travels. The Saudis once gave me a nice Waterman pen, that I still use, and last year the Kuwaitis gave me a Cartier ball pen, which I found a tad feminine and re-gifted to my wife.
I found this part of the story significant:
Some gifts reflect the recipient's specialty. Gen. Peter Pace, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff received two machine guns — one mounted — worth $1,300 from his Colombian and Russian counterparts, while Defense Secretary Robert Gates got a $3,200 decorative Arab knife from a Bahraini official and a steel dagger valued at $345 from the Jordanian king.
Now it becomes clear why Arabs give me pens! What gift could better reflect my specialty as a pencil-pusher?