Monthly Archives: August 2011

No church in this chicken

Islamic chicken only, please. The sign says “djadj tksas” or  “Texas Chicken”.  I am told this is the same as Church’s Chicken in the US. This one is in a shopping center; they’re getting ready to close at 3am during Ramadan.


I’m absolutely sure they don’t read these things.

Another supermarket t-shirt.

Gaddafi: “They love me all my people.”

Muammar Gaddafi’s latest rap, “They love me all my people, they love me all”:

The first one, “Zenga, zenga”, has gone viral, 4 million views so far.

(bikini dancer somewhat NSFW)
“Noy Alooshe, 31, an Israeli journalist, musician and Internet buff, said he saw Colonel Qaddafi’s televised speech last Tuesday in which the Libyan leader vowed to hunt down protesters “inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alleyway by alleyway,” and immediately identified it as a “classic.”…

“Mr. Alooshe spent a few hours at the computer, using pitch corrector technology to set the speech to the music of “Hey Baby,” a song by the American rapper Pitbull, featuring another artist, T-Pain. Mr. Alooshe titled it “Zenga-Zenga,” echoing Colonel Qaddafi’s repetition of the word zanqa, Arabic for alleyway….”

shebr shebr = inch by inch
beit beit  = home by home
dar dar = house by house
zenga zenga = lane by lane
ila al-amam = to forward
thawra = revolution
maee el-malayeen = I have milions (ppl)
dakkat saat al amal = time for work
dakkat saat al zahaf = time for march
dakkat saat al intesaar = time for victory
la rojoo = no retreat

And here’s the Arabic, with some hahahaha’s thrown in at the end:
شبر شبر …..بيت بيت ….دار دار …زنقة زنقة …. فرد فرد
الى الامام الى الامام ..ثورة ثورة
معي الملايين و مش من الداخل .. معي الملاين من الامم الاخرى
انا اوجه نداء الى كل ملايين الصحراء
من الصحراء الى الصحراء حتزحف الملايين و ما حد يقدر يوقفها
دقت ساعة العمل .. دقت ساعة الزحف ..دقت ساعة الانتصار .. لا رجووووع
ههههههههههههههههههههههههههههه ه­هههههههههههههههههههههههههههه

Gaddafi’s original words, from an interview:

As a bonus encore, Gaddafi sings chorus for Shakira.

Jotun Arabic Logo

The Arabic logo of the Norwegian paint company Jotun is supposed to be defunct, but here it is on a storefront in Riyadh, plain as day.

A little bit further down the road, they seem to prefer a western alphabet.

The old and the new:

This paint can was discarded on the side of a vacant lot.

The front is in a Latin font, but the Arabic font has been kept on the back.

A new product, Jotashield Extreme (clickable), which was developed particularly for the temperatures in Saudi’s urban air domes, not to mention the lucrative construction boom, also has a bit of Arabic on the front of the can. [Source.]

Ginger Bee

Not much insect life in the garden these days, except for this lone bee.
There is plenty of bloom in the garden: Damascus rose, queen of the night, marigold, and vinca just for starters, but it prefers this nondescript plant. It also seems to prefer being upside down.


Photo retrieved from the wastebasket, it shows the abdomen colors a little better. I wonder if the Aussies would call this a ginger bee.

Who owns the Arabian Nights?

The cats, of course.

Take a look at the car in the middle.

It has ears.

You see those palm trees in the background? Do you think the cats climb them? Nope. Look closely at that first car on the other side of the street. Yup, ears.

All through the night the same thing is repeated in the rich neighborhoods,

and in the Pakistani neighborhoods.

iPhone Arabic

Are the new Arabic airport fonts appalling? Tim at Endangered Alphabets decries the new Arabic scripts seen at the Dubai airport, preferring the reed and pen feeling of traditional Arabic script.

Most of the signs around the aircraft used this cursive, traditional Arabic script. So far, so good. But the display monitors giving the pre-flight safety instructions were a different story. The English instructions were in the same white-on-black sans serif type used on the iPhone, and to my surprise, the Arabic text was clearly a simplified or modernized form of Arabic script—a revision that had exactly the same amiably chubby rounded contours as iPhone English. Any sense that this was a handwritten script was completely gone: now it was that collision (or collusion) of printing and advertising—a font. The crisp edges of the penmanship were gone, rounded off into simpler and more upright shapes. It was sans serif Arabic, so to speak. Moreover, the bristling diacritics, which to me always make an Arabic word look like a wet black dog energetically shaking itself, had been simplified and prettified into circular dots. Even some of the running cursive connectedness of written Arabic had been broken down until the text as a whole looked the way my students’ handwriting looks: like a series of individual printed characters rather than flowing words. As if typed, in fact.

Did the Vikings miss the qualities of stone carving once their runes started being put down on vellum? Do we miss our own Palmer method orthography lessons now that the computer has entered the classroom? And by the way, what DOES Arabic sans serif iPhone script look like?

This isn’t an iPhone, but here is a sample of electronic Arabic script from an unsolicited Saudi phone message.

I can’t say it’s the type of thing I’d like to look at with a homemade nib sort of font.

At The Atlantic you can also see some of the endangered alphabets, like Syriac and Samaritan.