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A name that causes problems in Saudi Arabia


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Saudi Arabia Rejects Pakistani Diplomat Because of His Name

Owing to an unfortunate matter of translation, Pakistani diplomat Akbar Zeb will not become the next Pakistani ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

Mr Zeb's credentials are impressive: he is the former envoy to the United States , India , South Africa and Canada . But despite his impressive career, his name proved to be an immovable hurdle.

When translated into Arabic, it means "Large penis".

In a region that stresses modesty in public, this could not stand.

Akbar is a customary Muslim name meaning "great", and while Zeb is not an uncommon Pakistani name, in Arabic it is a slang reference to the penis and never used in polite conversation.

Obviously the diplomat's Arab hosts felt that references to "His Excellency the Big Dick" would not go over well.

A Saudi cultural critic said, "The media wouldn't dare to publish a name like this. So every time he would be in the media they would have to face the name issue, and it would make it difficult to work with him.

That would be an embarrassment for Pakistan ."

Said an analyst, "You cannot just pronounce that name. It's too awkward.

How would he be announced at events? How would he be written


According to the Arab Times, this is the third instance of an Arabic-speaking country refusing Mr. Zeb's ambassadorship David Kenner of Foreign Policy magazine wrote that the issue was a source of embarrassment for Pakistan. "One can only assume that submitting Zeb's name to Arabic-speaking countries is some unique form of punishment designed by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry," he wrote, "Or the result of a particularly egregious cock-up."

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In the company I work for we have the following last names:





I went to college with a Richard Head..went by 'Dick'. I worked with someone w/ first name Dong and had a professor Wang in college (pronounced 'Wong').

'Akbar Zeb' would be a great name for a rapper, he could brag about the meaning of his handle in Arabic..

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I had a Richard Dix in my high school. French last name, should be said like "Deese", but of course you see "Dix" in English and say "Dicks", which when combined with his rather unfortunate shortformed first name made "Dick Dicks". At the time he was also dating a girl named Kaleena, I hope that if they are still together and ever marry or have married, that she didn't take his last name.

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