Who is "Caliph for an hour"

"Caliph for an hour" - this is the name of a person who suddenly received tremendous power and lost it after a short time. And this catch phrase originates from the ancient Arabic fairy tale "A waking dream or a caliph for an hour", which was included in the famous collection "A Thousand and One Nights".

This story tells the story of a Caliph from Baghdad, Harun al-Rashid, who decided to go through his possessions under the guise of a foreign merchant. On the way, he met a young man Abu-Gassan. Without even suspecting that he was talking with the caliph himself, the young man told him about his cherished dream: at least for a short time to become the ruler of Baghdad, in order to enjoy, albeit for a short time, all the charm of unlimited power over his subjects.

Harun al-Rashid, a great lover of jokes and practical jokes, decided to fulfill Abu Ghassan's dream. He ordered to pour a sleeping pill into the wine, and when the young dreamer fell fast asleep, he was transferred to the luxurious palace of the Caliph. All subordinates were given a strict order: to fulfill all the whims of the newly-born caliph, so that he really believed in the fulfillment of his old dream.

Waking up, Abu Ghassan was so amazed by the surroundings that he did not want to believe that the miraculous transformation was real, and not the continuation of sleep. However, all the courtiers strictly carried out the order of their present ruler: they obeyed Abu-Gassan unquestioningly, every minute calling him a caliph. Unwittingly, I had to believe in my miraculous transformation into a mighty ruler.

All day Abu Gassan enjoyed the privileges and luxury of palace life, giving orders to servants and viziers. But, any fairy tale comes to an end someday. In the evening, the former poor man, who was barely beginning to get used to his new life, received another portion of sleeping pills. As soon as he fell asleep, he was transferred from the posh palace back to the shabby shack. When Abu Gassan woke up, he could not understand for a long time what happened to him? Was he really a Caliph, or did he dream about it?

However, in our time there are such cases. In 2013, Pennsylvania resident Chris Reingolds became the richest man in the world. True, this happened due to an ATM error. When Chris decided to check his card balance, it turned out that he was the owner of a fortune of $ 92, 233, 720, 368, 547, 800. The amount was credited by the PaiPal payment system by mistake. A few hours later, the extra money was debited from the account of Chris Reingolds, a small dealer in auto parts.