A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

a multi-faceted look at the middle east, and the middle west

“such a talented family”: adventures in transliteration.

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on November 9, 2006

The latest Time Out Beirut newsletter arrived in my inbox this afternoon, self-important as always:

“Thanking all of you that have registered to receive this great weekly newsletter from Time Out Beirut. Our mission is to help you get the most out of this great city. So why are we different? Because our site is updated weekly, with things to do this weekend, places to see, where to eat and what to buy, all in one place on http://www.timeoutbeirut.com. Come on send this to a friend and let them be enlightened like you!”

TOB’s mini-paean to itself here only echoes its website, which describes the (currently available only online) magazine as “a true forum of criticism”. (www.timeoutbeirut.com) Its still light-years beyond What’s Up Lebanon, but … what happened to the delightfully irreverent, light-heartedly ironic, and non-pompous tone that characterizes TOL and TONY?

Anyway. What caught my eye was this:

Lina Audi design

One sticky summer day, my friend A and I were picking our way through the emporia of Verdun. He had patiently watched me try on mountains of colorful clothing, only to emerge with two (plain) black and two white t-shirts, and one white and one black tank top (even plainer), slave to my New York “everything is better in black, except white” fashion sensibilities.

We left Verdun’s dueling malls, heading north. Looking at the Bank Audi on our right, I said, brainlessly, “They really are such a talented family.” A, thinking no doubt that either the humidity or the shopping itself had addled my brain, said: “why? what do you mean”

“Oh you know”, I replied, still sans cervelle, “with the banks and the cars – they must have some incredible talents, to succeed in such different industries.”

A looked at me, a very familiar “who else would have the patience to deal with you?” look, and asked:

“have you ever looked at a Bank Audi sign in Arabic?”


Audi is German, a-u-d-i. Audi is 3aoudeh, 3ayn-waou-dal-taa marbu6ta.

still though – I bet Lina’s designs are both well financed and somehow a bit German.


One Response to ““such a talented family”: adventures in transliteration.”

  1. Intlxpatr said

    Total hoot. come visit me and we will double over laughing. We miss you!

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