A Diamond’s Eye View of the World

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

Archive for May, 2007

What’s in a name? the Arab Conference on Geographic Names

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 31, 2007

This has been a busy period for the Lebanese Army. In addition to maintaining what appears to be at best a stand-off against the militants in Nahr al-Bared (don’t believe last week’s English language media reports claiming that the army was “pounding” the camp – the army is barely keeping up!), I learned today that its “Directorate of Geographic Affairs” is holding an Arabic place name transliteration conference. 

This sounds laughable to anyone who has not tried to look up Arabic terms in English. There are several ‘standard’ systems of transliteration, each of which attempts to address the issue of non-English sounds, doubled letters, and long versus short vowels differently. Some require special fonts; others require the capitalization of ‘hard’ letters, resulting in spellings like “marHaba”. English and French transliterations spell Arabic letters and vowels differently: Mashreq vs. Machrek, for example.

In other words, this is a serious undertaking – even if undertaken at a curious time.

Here is the notice I saw in this morning’s paper:

Beirut? Beyrouth?

The third Arab Conference on Geographic Names (ACGN), which endeavors to transliterate Arabic geographic names into Latin letters, opened a two-day session on Wednesday in Beirut. Representatives from Arab geographic and cartographic institutions attended the ACGN, as did geography experts from the United Nations. In 1971, the first ACGN also took place in Beirut, which gave the moniker “Beirut System” to the united system for transliterating Arabic names.

The Beirut System is followed throughout the Arab world, said Maroun Kharbash in an opening speech at the event.The conference will discuss establishing the Arab Cartographic Association to guarantee exchanges of geographic information in development and catastrophe management.

And here is the information available on the Army’s website:

Third Arab conference on geographic names

General information on the conference
Provisional agenda


1. The Directorate of Geographic Affairs (DAG) is organizing the Third Arab Conference on Geographic Names that will be held in Beirut on the thirtieth and thirty-first of May 2007.

Conference Objectives
2. The conference aims at discussing the Romanization system and creating standard rules for an integrated system to transliterate the Arabic geographic names to the Latin alphabet in a standard way. This system would be agreed upon in the attendance of specialized representatives of the Arab League, which paves the way for this system to be adopted by the United Nations and other international organizations as a standard system of transliteration of Arabic geographic names.

3. The conference would also discuss with the directors of the cartographic and geographic information institutions the establishment of the Arab Cartographic Association (ACA) which will be responsible of the issues of coordination among the Arab countries in the domain of geographic information and its crucial role in crisis management and permanent and global development in all participating countries. This is comparable to other regions of the world that has established geographic associations for inter-coordination between its member states like RCCAP.

Former Conferences
4. The First Arab Conference for Geographic Names was held in Beirut in 1971, which resulted in what is called Beirut Paper. This paper contains a standard system for transliteration of Arabic geographic names to Latin alphabet. This system, however, was applied in inconsistent way among Arab states.

5. This inconsistent application pushed the Arab experts to propose modifications to Beirut Paper in the 22nd Session of Experts on Geographic Names that was held in Berlin in 2002. Those experts also decided to build a new Romanization system based on the proposed modifications and have it legalized by the Arab League in order to be adopted by the United Nations during the conference that will be held in New York in August 2007.

6. The Second Arab Conference for Geographic Names was held in Libya in 2004 to materialize what was agreed upon in Berlin in 2002, but the Arab experts did not reach a final agreement.

7. During the 23rd Session of Experts on Geographic Names that was held in Vienna in 2006, the Arab experts decided to hold a conference in Beirut to decree a standard Arabic transliteration system.

8. The followings are expected to participate in the conference affairs:
a. Directors of the cartographic and geographic information institutions in all Arab countries.
b. Chiefs of associations of geographic names in all Arab countries.
c. Experts on geographic names in all Arab countries.
d. Representatives of the Arab League.
e. President of ESCWA in Beirut or her representative.
f. Chairperson of UNGEGN.
g. Secretariat of UNGEGN.

Patronage of the Conference
9. The conference is patronaged by Mr. Prime Minister.

10. Invitations were sent for each of the following:
a. Ministers of: Interior and Municipalities – Defense – Culture and High Education – Education and Vocational and Technical Training – Agriculture – Energy and Water – Finance – Tourism – Industry – Administration Development Affairs – Public Works and Transportation.
b. Directors of: Buildings and Roads – Environment – Internal Security Forces – General Security – Culture and High Education – National Education – Tourism (Director General of Archeology) – Bureau Director of the Minister of Administration Development Affairs.
c. Councils: Conseil pour le Development et la Reconstruction (CDR) – Conseil National pour la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).
d. Syndicates: Engineers Society in Beiurt – Society of Certified Topographs.
e. Universities: Faculties of Engineering at AUB and BAU – ESGTL.
f. Companies: MAPS – Khatib&Alami – GIS Transport – HI TECH…

11. Letters were sent to the following seeking their sponsorship:
a. Locals: Engineers Society in Beiurt – Society of Certified Topographs – Lebanese University and Faculty of Engineering in private universities – Large companies in Lebanon (Khatib&Alami – MAPS…).
b. Internationals: ESRI – FIG – ICA – RCCAP – Digital Earth – ISO.

Other Information
12. You will be able to follow up with the conference last updates, arrival and accommodation details, and other organizational issues on the Lebanese Army website at

Meanwhile, in other language nerd news … 

The “situation”, as people call it reverently, has enabled me somewhat coincidentally to hear a civilian address a soldier on three separate occasions recently. The term I thought I was hearing was … watan. 

Crudely put (and ignoring a generation of tortured academic scholarship on such issues as the relationship of notions of watan/vatan in Islamic lands to those of the patria/patrie), watan means country or homeland.

I find it fascinating that soldiers are addressed as “country” – but before I posted this fact, I wanted to confirm with a former soldier friend of mine that my ears were not simply mis-hearing muwatan, which means “citizen”.

H sided with my ears, and noted that watan is used to address soldiers in uniform. Now that I know what to call the uniformed men who search my bags when I enter downtown, what do I call the mukhabarat-i guys sporting polo shirts and walkie-talkies who hover near them? khayy al-kabir?


Posted in advertising, al-Qaeda, Arab world, Arabic, Beirut, citizenship, Lebanon, maps, media, neighbors, politics, research, travel, words | Leave a Comment »

Consistency: the hobgoblin of a little mind?

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 29, 2007

The other night I decided to take a break from my evening routine (working on my laptop while hitting “refresh” on my favorite news sites every few minutes to keep abreast of any recent bombings) and curl up in bed with a novel: Cairo House, by Samia Serageldin.


The curling up went beautifully, but the novel was … a disappointment. Well, not a disappointment exactly – it was more like a case of deja vu. I opened the book, began reading, and realized that I had purchased and read the same book two months before.

Sigh. I’ve done this before: purchase a book, read and enjoy it, give it away to someone and then, some time later, see it in a bookstore, mis-recognize it as one I have not read, and purchase it again.

At least I know my tastes are consistent, I tell myself whenever it happens.

Luckily, I now have new books to read, courtesy of my aunt, who gifted them to me, and of H, who brought them back from Kuwait on Sunday.

H called to let me know about the books within an hour of returning to Beirut – and I was initially delighted to hear about them. Thank you so much, I said. Let me know when you want me to take them off your hands, thinking: sometime during the two weeks that you will be here.

Actually, diamond, H replied, I’d like to bring them over as soon as possible. Its the type of thing where my mother will kill me if I leave them out on the coffee table.

Oh God, I said, thinking: what on earth is in these books that could so horrify someone’s mother?

For the next hour, I fretted over what type of books these could be. Were they too Christian? Were they too romantic? Did they advocate American imperialism? I couldn’t imagine anything my aunt might send to me giving offense to anyone, but … apparently they had.

When H arrived, I took the books and scanned them – titles, authors, covers. They were utterly … mundane. I looked up at H, who smiled and said apologetically,

I’m sorry for the rush, but my mother is one of those people who hates to have anything cluttering up the coffee table.

In celebration of not having offended H’s mother, I am off to curl up in bed with one of those books: Antonia Arslan’s Skylark Farm.


Posted in Americans, Arab world, Beirut, books, family, friends, Iowa, Kuwait, Lebanon, nightlife, shipping, travel, women, words | 1 Comment »

blowing hot, blowing cold: shared a/c and cold-borne illness

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 28, 2007

While Lebanon has been facing a semi-existential crisis for the past week, my office has spent the time in an equally fierce confrontation – this one over the air conditioning.

Now, as an American, I have no objection to air conditioning. But I have been ‘conditioned’ by “50 simple things you can do to save the Earth” and other environment-friendly movements to prefer temperate rooms. (Also, I get cold easily. I think one of my ancestors was part reptile.)

Our half of the office is divided into several air conditioning camps, ranging from those who prefer a frigid 13°C to those who like a balmy 24°C, which means that the a/c is largely off, which allows Beirut’s humidity to creep in. 

Hence my work-day unfolds along a temperature continuum:


At home I generally run my air conditioner/heater on “dry”, which takes away the humidity without making me feel like I’m in one of those super-cooled Kuwaiti malls.

Anyway. The subject of air conditioning led to a fascinating, if mutually mystifying, conversation with G yesterday, about what kind of illness comes from being cold.

G was shocked to hear that I do not believe that being cold – whether sitting under an over-charged air conditioner for too long or going out in the winter with just a t-shirt on – makes one ill in the digestively-disturbed sense.

I was shocked to hear that what I consider a universal truth – that going out in the cold can give one a cold or a fever or even the flu – may instead be merely a regional health belief.

But Diamond, G said, you cannot tell me that even if you eat only the healthiest food, if you go outside in Faraya in the middle of winter that you will not get [indigestion].

Mystified, I said, yes I can. I might get a head cold, or the flu, but my stomach would be fine.

I cannot believe it – here, in the seemingly sober field of modern medicine and health care, we have found a place where our cultures collide. Am I mistaken – are there American beliefs linking cold to stomach troubles?

In any case, I now have a new argument to wield at the office against the 13°C crowd: if you turn the thermostat down too far, there will be a mad rush for the restroom.

Posted in Americans, Arab world, Beirut, bodybuilding, friends, health, humor, Iowa, Lebanon, research, vanity, words | 1 Comment »

Condoleezza’s hopes: further misadventures in Arabic

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 27, 2007

On Friday morning a number of us were gathered around our various computers, chasing the latest news from Tripoli. We were discussing which channels were carrying what information – and how they were covering the story.

Al-Jazeera, for example, has been giving the story very little coverage, at least in its morning news reports. Al-Arabiya, on the other hand, has devoted much airtime to lavish footage and news reportage – fitting, as many have noted, given the station’s pro-Sunni, pro-Hariri outlook.

A few of us noted that the best online source for updates has been Tayyar.org, the Aounists’ news portal. It provides one or two line summaries of the latest events (or non-events – it also reports on how long the “tense calm” prevails when the army and Fatah al-Islam are not actively engageing).

This is a sample from earlier today:

05:45 هدوء حذر يلفه الترقب ويخرقه اطلاق رصاص متقطع عند جبهة مخيم نهر البارد

01:31 اشتباكات محدودة واطلاق رصاص متقطع يسود في مخيم البارد.
00.29 تجدد الإشتباكات بين عناصر فتح الإسلام و الجيش اللبناني في مخيّم نهر البارد


I like Tayyar’s updates because they come frequently and provide me with the latest news -without making me slog through an entire news story, as with al-Jazeera’s stories, or wonder just how old the ‘news’ is, as with BBC.

What about the Lebanese media? one of the non-Arabic readers asked. What does LBC’s site say?

Dutifully I went off to www.LBCGroup.tv, which plays a news scroll that closely approximates the one that runs across the bottom of LBC News’ screen.

Mmmm, I said, reading. The scroll is mostly covering US activity in Iraq, although there is an item stating that American planes bearing military aid began arriving last [i.e., Thursday] night.

Oh! I exclaimed, continuing to read. Here’s something interesting. The scroll says that Condoleezza Rice hopes the government can work things out with the extremists in Nahr al-Bared.

What? the others said.

I know, I replied. I can’t believe it either.

Luckily, disbelief coincided with Arabic literacy for some of the others, who soon went off in search of the site themselves.

Diamond, one said. The scroll does not say that Condoleezza hopes the government will work things out with the extremists. It says that she hopes they will deal with the extremists.

Oops. This is exactly why when I translate something that will be published, I double-check my work with a dictionary.


Posted in Americans, Arabic, Beirut, citizenship, humor, Lebanon, media, news, politics, research, vanity, women, words | Leave a Comment »

as if Lebanon didn’t have enough troubles these days …

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 27, 2007

This headline came up on the latest Google alert:

 Pirates plunder Lebanon

WHAT? I thought in alarm. Goodness – the news just gets worse and worse here!

Of course, these pirates turned out to be actors – an amateur troupe engaged to perform at a local cinema in Lebanon, Oregon.

The comment of one of the pirate actors, though, reminded me of my aunt’s post on Halloween pirate costumes from last fall, which I also mentioned here.

Capt. McCormick, who goes by Steven Black when not in character, said his group draws crowds wherever it goes.

“It’s funny, why do we celebrate these pirates, these buccaneers, these cutthroats of the open seas? They were bandits. They were thieves and murderers and very desparate and bad men,” he said.

“But we do know why. Because they lived life on their own terms, they sought freedom more than treasure. … A short life, but a merry one.”

Gulp. I hope no one watching the coverage of Nahr al-Bared looks at the Fatah al-Islam fighters and thinks: they live life on their own terms, and they seek freedom more than worldly treasure. A short life, but a noble one.

Posted in Americans, Beirut, economics, humor, Lebanon, media, news, politics, sea, traffic, travel, words | Leave a Comment »

Hijab Fashion, Shami Style

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 26, 2007

In one of those weird indications of the ways in which globalism disrespects national boundaries, I received a sweetly funny cartoon by email from a friend in … Israel. Well, in Israel for the moment, but like me a Damascene in spirit.

This cartoon categorization of hijab styles may be too Damascus – focused for people who have not lived there to appreciate it – I would have changed the “on the Syrian street” because even Syrians from other cities may not get the references. Also, I would have put more focus on the hijab chic styles – there are as many variations as there are variations on more conservative hijab interpretations, and its a pity to miss out on seeing the full range.

However – I am gifted with neither artistic skills nor the creative inspiration that inspired this cartoon, so please read my comments as “wouldn’t it be nice to add x and y” rather than critiques.



CFW commented that she had found the creator of this lovely cartoon – Puppeteer, a Syrian blogger in Damascus. The cartoon can be seen in situ at her post Islamic … Syria? Thank you, CFW!

Posted in Arab world, clothing, Damascus, economics, fashion, friends, humor, Islam, media, neighbors, religion, vanity, women | 23 Comments »

turning Lebanese

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 25, 2007

What felt like crisis on Monday now feels normal, so quickly do we humans adapt. Well, easy for me to say – anyone with a car here probably feels the changes much more acutely, as they scramble for parking in neighborhoods where street parking is now prohibited, or wait in long lines at an ever-changing array of roadblocks in and out of the city.

The joke I found waiting for me in my inbox this morning said: Fatah al-Islam threatens to become Christian if the Lebanese army does not withdraw from the border of Nahr al-Bared.

This afternoon, G passed on the AFP report that al-Qaeda is threatening to target Christians in Lebanon unless the army withdraws from the camp. Even while I shudder at the thought of al-Qaeda establishing a more active presence here, something about the mis-communication apparent in these two communiques makes me laugh.

Meanwhile, on to more superficial topics like … fashion.

My aunt sometimes tells me: Little Diamond, you are turning Lebanese.

However, when I opened the box of clothing that my parents had sent from Salzburg, I realized that she was targeting the wrong family member. It is my mother who has become Lebanese.

I grew up with fairly staid swimming suits – conservatively cut or racer style, in the red-white-and-blue colors favored by our all-American country club. Even when I graduated to bikinis, they were … not so bikini. I like to swim, not to preen, and I definitely don’t like having to ask myself: if I do this somersault / turn / handstand, will my suit follow me?

Moreover, my idea of a really eye-catching bikini color is … black. or … navy. sometimes, when I feel particularly daring, I put on one that is navy and … white.

My swimsuit fashion sense is hence a bit plain for Lebanon, although I have happily adopted the bikini-with-heels beach club fashion that here is de rigueur. I believe that heels go with everything :-).

Back to the box of clothing. When it finally arrived I tore through the packing tape and spent half an hour trying on the treasures it contained – tops in various styles and various shades of black, brown and white, my “colors”.

When I dug down towards the bottom, I found a much more colorful treasure – and one that appeared much more likely to have come from a shop in Beirut than from one in Des Moines:


Yes – the top is made of a shiny turquoise fabric. And yes – that is a sequined flower on the left … er … side. Thank goodness I have heels that match!

Posted in Americans, Beirut, clothing, family, fashion, guilt, holidays, Iowa, Lebanon, photography, sea, vanity, women | 4 Comments »

psssssst: managing fear with rumors and jokes

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 24, 2007

One of the things I remember most clearly from last summer is the degree to which knowledge and information became ways of managing fear. The same has been true this past week.

The number of email forwards and msn chats announcing various warnings must be significantly increasing Lebanon’s internet traffic this week. I’ve received several – and I imagine that most Lebanese I know have received many more.

This one, happily most untrue, came yesterday:

فتح الاسلام تعلن عن وجود 300 متفجرة في شوارع بيروت و عن نيتها بتفجيرها خلال ساعتين اذا لم ينسحب الجيش من حدود مخيم نهر البارد

فتح الاسلام ترمي مناشير تطلب فيها من سكان بيروت بمغادرة المدينة و تتوعّد الّلبنانيّين بمزيد من التفجيرات

 (I mentioned it in drinking milk in Egyptian but didn’t translate it for fear of alarming family readers. Its topicality having diminished by the passage of time, I now feel fewer reservations.

It says that Fatah al-Islam has announced that there are 300 bombs on the streets of Beirut that will be exploded in two hours if the army does not leave the border of Nahr al-Barid, and that it is distributing flyers demanding that the residents of Beirut leave the city, and threatening the Lebanese with more explosions.)

This next one came to me twice yesterday, both times from Lebanese friends. Today, three acquaintances mentioned reading it – one from a relative in France, one from a friend in Qatar, and one from a friend in Liberia. I would love to trace the trail of this anonymous, seemingly authoritative email – around Lebaon and the Lebanese diaspora, and back around Lebanon again:

Dear all,I’m clogging up your email –with a cause.I’d like to share the below info as a staff member of GRID and as the international deputy warden for Zone 7 (Ain Mreisseh), which was forwarded to me by the National Security Officer at the International Medical Corp. in Beirut just now:“Here are some possible targets in Beirut. Please restrict your movement & avoid being in Gemmayzeh & Monot.
ABC Mall Achrafieh
ABC Mall Dbayeh
Giant Casino Mall Dora
Monot Street
Gemmayzeh Street
Casino du Liban Jounieh
Local transportations (buses)
Big schools & universities
Any other business centers & shopping streets.

All the best,

This is how the email ended – anonymously. At the bottom were two confidentiality footers – one from Societe Generale, and one from Cadbury Schweppes. When I next received it, the email came with an AUB header and a UN ESCWA footer – increasing both its apparent authority and the confusion. The International Medical Corps is indeed active in Lebanon – but is this writer for real? And how did one NGO worker’s opinion become a mass communique?

What is GRID, those of us who have received it keep asking. And why, I wonder, did this person exclude Hamra from the list of areas to avoid?

Certainly the civil defense appears unwilling to put its trust in this email – Hamra has been a no-parking zone for the past two days, and I see from this evening’s news bulletins that cars are not allowed to park along the sides of the main streets and commercial areas.
Meanwhile, the jokes and black humor began circulating today, starting (for me at least) with this one:

اتصل على 1214 او أرسل رسالة قصيرة متوقعاً فيها أين سيكون الإنفجار اليوم و هناك جوائز قيّمة بانتظارك و من يحزر سيكون الفائز بمشاهدة الإنفجار مباشرةً و من يحزر ليومين متتاليين سينزل هو و يضغط على الزرّ

To ‘appreciate’ this one it helps to know how many sms’es people receive here telling them to ‘send a message to xxxx’ with their vote for a poll, donation to a cause, entrance into a contest, etc. It says: 

Call or send a short message to 1214 with a prediction of where today’s explosion will be and there will be prizes whose value is worth the wait [my rather colloquial translation]. The one with the winning guess will get to watch the explosion live, and whoever guesses [correctly] for two days straight will be forced to press the button [for the following one, I think].

Well. Dark humor for dark times.

The other jokes I’ve seen range from the sexual (some suggesting that the group is homosexual, and others that they need a few Russian prostitutes) to the bloody (one has fatah al-islam buying all the Always pads to absorb the blood from their losses), to the … just plain laugh-out-loud funny, like this one:

فتح الإسلام تهدد بتدمير جميع المواقع اللبنانية على فايس بوك في حال استمرار قصف مخيم نهر البارد
To appreciate this one – and it is a hoot – it helps to know that the Lebanese community on Facebook is one of the largest – a fact of which many Lebanese are not only cognizant but very proud. It says: Fatah al-Islam threatens to destroy all the Lebanese pages on Facebook if the attacks on Nahr al-Bared continue.

And one made me laugh out loud at the utter cheekiness with which it reduced the fighting to a middle-schooler’s taunt: Fatah al-Islam announces that it was all a joke – and says that the Lebanese Army can’t take a joke and has a bad sense of humor.

I have a very strong sense of how to read the ‘warning’ emails and messages – but I don’t quite know what to do with these jokes.

One of the people reading these jokes mentioned feeling torn between laughing and feeling that laughter was an inappropriate response to what is for the soldiers and their families a life-and-death situation.

Others have said, with pride: look at the Lebanese! Even in the worst situations we are able to laugh.

I think there is space for both responses. After all, we teach children to deal with bogeymen and other fears by putting them into perspective with daylight and laughter – and I think that now it is equally important not to be bowled under by fear of militancy, in whatever form it may come.

On the other hand, we don’t laugh at the graves of those who have died serving their countries, their families, or other ideals. As long as the laughter is life-affirming, rather than situation-denying, I think it can be a very healthy thing.

Posted in advertising, Americans, Arab world, Arabic, Beirut, citizenship, explosion, friends, humor, Lebanon, media, news, nightlife, politics, research, words | 2 Comments »

topical horoscopes

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 23, 2007

Today’s Daily Star has some unusually topical horoscopes.

Read them carefully – the last line for Taurus, for example, and the first line for Scorpio.


Posted in Arab world, Beirut, Lebanon, media, news, politics, words | 1 Comment »

drinking milk in Egyptian

Posted by adiamondinsunlight on May 22, 2007

Like most people here, I spent much of the day working in a state of semi-distraction, devoting the rest of my energy to checking up on – and discussing – the news and the rumors circulating throughout the country.

In between discussing whether warnings like:

فتح الاسلام تعلن عن وجود 300 متفجرة في شوارع بيروت و عن نيتها بتفجيرها خلال ساعتين

اذا لم ينسحب الجيش من حدود مخيم نهر البارد

فتح الاسلام ترمي مناشير تطلب فيها من سكان بيروت بمغادرة المدينة و تتوعّد الّلبنانيّين بمزيد من التفجيرات

were valid, and laughing over sms alert advertisements that solicited customers by asking:

“What more could happen in Lebanon?”

I found time to return to an earlier topic: dairy issues.

On my way to work, I stopped at the grocer’s to pick up milk for my tea. The store was out of Silhouette, my usual brand, but the clerk offered me another instead: the rather imperative-ly named Enjoy.

I noticed that the milk was Egyptian, but thought nothing more of it until I went to make my first cup of tea.

The English side of the  milk box was ‘normal’: Enjoy was spelled e-n-j-o-y.

The Arabic side, however, was not.

Arabic has a perfectly good letter – the jeem – that corresponds to the English “j”.  Were “Enjoy” to be transliterated in standard Arabic, the letters should read:

 أ ن ج و ي

Instead, however, the Arabic side read:

 أ ن چ و ی

In other words, “Enjoy” was written in Egyptian. In Egyptian Arabic, the “jeem” is pronounced as “geem”. Hence to indicate the hard “j” sound, the graphic designers put three dots below the “jeem”, instead of the usual one.

(The missing dots on the final “yaa” are a stylistic choice – often used in Egyptian printed works, but also found elsewhere in the Arabic speaking world. Its the jeem/geem that makes the spelling truly Egyptian!)


Posted in advertising, Americans, Arab world, Arabic, art, Egypt, food, neighbors, words | 7 Comments »