A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

doing things with words: Lebanon’s Paris III thank you

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on March 5, 2007

There is a rather strange advertisement currently posted on walls, billboards, and in newspapers:


The main text reads “Thank you”, while the text below the photo reads as follows:

(text in blue): The friend [sadiqa; or righteous, siddiqa] states participating in the Paris III conference

Below this are the images of 29 flags, all from non-Arab states.

Below these are two blocks of text. The longer one (on the right) quotes Siniora’s wartime statement that

Lebanon will remain, Lebanon will remain, Lebanon will remain

and the shorter text identifies the thankers as the people of Lebanon and their government.

I am totally lost. I can understand the rationale for thanking non-Arab states separately – they are “friends”, rather than “brothers” [shaqiq-s]. But why thank non-Arab donors with an Arabic language advertisement? Is this advertisement meant instead to be reminding Lebanese readers to be grateful?

Update, March 8, 2007

Mystery solved. The non-Arab states thank you was merely the first in a series.

This morning, I passed a billboard thanking the Saudis:

for you from us, with thanks and gratitude

[“gratitude” isn’t the exact translation for wafa2, but the word’s over-determined sense of loyalty and repaid debt is cumbersome in English]

There is a separate thank you for the other Arab states, which I am pasting below:


Off to tilt at other windmills …

5 Responses to “doing things with words: Lebanon’s Paris III thank you”

  1. So where does Iran fall?

  2. So where does Iran fall?
    Let me answer that???

    “I guess through the cracks!”

  3. Mmmmm AA I can’t find Iran’s name on the Paris III list of donors, nor do I remember it as an attendee. I _do_ know that several Gulf states attended, however, from KSA to Oman.

    However your larger point is certainly valid: there are no posters thanking Iran anywhere in my neighborhood, and none likely to appear soon!

  4. Well I was referring more to the ‘aid’ that Iran has been giving to the people of Lebanon. Or maybe they don’t consider those who have received the aid as “Lebanese”? Or maybe because it didn’t go through the government so that the warlords would pocket it…? So many questions… 😀

  5. oh AA, so many questions indeed. and so few willing either to stand up and answer them directly _or_ work to tackle the issues underlying them.

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