Saturday, May 17, 2003

Clue Stick

Oy, if this letter writer is correct...

As part of its propaganda effort in Iraq, the reconstruction office is establishing a newspaper called al Sabah, which is translated as "the dawn" ["U.S. to Take Its Message to Iraqi Airwaves," news story, May 11]. In fact, al sabah means "the morning"; the word for "dawn" is fajr. This is well known even among Muslims who don't speak Arabic, because a chapter in the Koran is called "al Fajr," and the first prayer of the day is the fajr, or dawn, prayer.
So morning, dawn -- what's the difference? Well, al Sabah also happens to be the name of the Kuwaiti royal family, as every Iraqi probably knows. News reports indicate that Iraqis already believe that Kuwaitis were behind the looting of their museums. Now they may be likely to believe that this new newspaper is sponsored by Kuwait.

Is that really the impression the reconstruction office wants to convey in this delicate political situation?


Kuwait City