Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Why don't reporters know anything about the Arabic language?

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Or any other language, for that matter!

Today ABC news posted an article about Obama's Muslim heritage which is a legitimate subject since he is going to be meeting with the King of Saudi Arabia this week.

The article contained the following sentences:

The candidate was even offended when referred to by his initials "BHO," because he considered the use of his middle name, "Hussein," an attempt to frighten voters.

With insane rumors suggesting he was some sort of Muslim Manchurian candidate, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and his campaign did everything they could to emphasize his Christianity and de-emphasize the fact that his father, Barack Obama Sr., was born Muslim.

Well, any reporter assigned to a Muslim country who didn't learn that an Arabic greeting, "Barakallah feek", meaning "May the blessings of Allah be upon you" probably didn't do a very good job of reporting on the Arabic culture.

The word "barak", the Arabic tri-literal b r and k, can when modified with prefixes and suffixes can mean many variations on the word blessing: to bless, blessed, blesser, one who is blessed, etc. I am more familiar with Farsi (Persian), the language of Iran, where "mobarak" means blessed, "tabrik" means congratulate, "barakallah" means God Bless etc.

It's been a long time since I studied it. This post really isn't relevant to the main subject matter of Stella Borealis, but sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta due.

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