Comforting to think that this can’t be blamed on George W. Bush, America, or Israel.
By BENJAMIN JOFFE-WALT / THE MEDIA LINE
Arab states reject Pakistani diplomat whose name refers to large male genitals in Arabic.
Up until just over a month ago, His Excellency Miangul Akbar Zeb had lived an esteemed life as one of Pakistan’s most senior diplomats.
Mr Zeb has served as the ambassador of Pakistan to the United States, India and South Africa, the director general of Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry and most recently was Pakistan’s High Commissioner Designate to Canada.
According to the Media Line news agency, Mr Zeb’s impressive career hit a hick-up when Pakistan recently decided to send the 55-year-old veteran diplomat to the Arab world, seemingly ignorant to the Arabic translation of the senior diplomat’s name: ‘Biggest Dick’.
A relatively common Muslim name, Akbar means ‘biggest’ or ‘greatest’ in Arabic. While Zeb is a common Urdu name, in Arabic it is a slang reference to the male genitals and not used in polite conversation.
Faced with an uncomfortable conundrum, it seems the unfortunate diplomat’s Arab hosts felt that local references to ‘His Excellency Biggest Dick’ would not go over well.