What's the Arabic for..?

The campaign grows to grant asylum for all those Iraqis who have worked for the British Armed Forces in Iraq. Bloggerheads publishes a list of bloggers who support the campaign, while Chicken Yoghurt and Pickled Politics have been keeping track of MPs who have responded to the letter writing campaign.

Over at The Ministry of Truth, Unity has produced some blog banners that you can add to your own site, linking to an appropriate explanatory article such as the one published by Dan. My favourite is this one:

What is the Arabic for We'll stand by you?

What’s the Arabic for “We’ll stand by you?” – We can’t turn them away


The slogan is taken from the title of Ben Macintyre’s article in The Times today:

The only way to demonstrate to ordinary Iraqis that the interpreters are not enemy collaborators but patriots, is to stand by them, to protect them while we remain in Iraq, and to offer them shelter when we go. If they are left to the mercies of the insurgents, that will simply confirm in the minds of many Iraqis that this was always a cynical grab for oil and power, in which the lives of Iraqis mattered little.

It is worth re-emphasising that the campaign is not just for the Iraqi interpreters, but for all those who have worked for the British forces. The interpreters are a useful group to highlight, however, since their invaluable contribution is easily understood and quantified.

I recall that the US Department of Defense had something of a translatation crisis recently. Apparently, the number of Arabic speakers in the Pentagon was in single figures, and some had been sacked when it was discovered that they were homosexual! I wonder what the policy of the United States is towards those Iraqis who have helped their troops?

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