Sunday, July 23, 2006

Mid-East Musings

One of the two things that I find interesting about U.S. coverage on the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah are the way the latter is spelled. Essentially, it's a transliteration from the Arabic حزب الله but depending on how it's translated it's spelled in various ways: Hezbollah, Hizbollah, Hizbullah or Hizb Allah (commonly used by Al Jazeera.) As to what determines their usage of which spelling... who knows.

The other thing that I find interesting about the coverage isn't that rival cable news networks CNN and Fox News have chosen sides in the battle but that they are actually reporting from both sides of the battle (with some censorship.) This makes it pretty interesting for homes with multiple televisions as you can walk from one room where you were watching the launching of missiles to the other room to see where they landed and the damage taken. Kind of makes you wonder what some of our other military actions look like in multi-room view.

For some reason, I'm shocked that the Human League hasn't released a timely 2006 remix of their U.K. hit "The Lebanon."


David Amulet said...

The spelling thing is fun to watch. Transliterating Arabic is always a chore--remember how many spellings of "Qadhafi" there were in the 80s?

Hizballah (Party of God; hizb=party and allah=God) is the preferred spelling in most Arabic transliteration systems because the i and the a are vowel sounds in Arabic while e and o really aren't. However, because Hizallah has such heavy Iranian ties, often people use Farsi transliteration, which does allow these vowels.

Then of course, many people werite it as they hear it, which is what leads to things like Hezbulluh (yes, I've seen that one ... cringe) and Kaddafy, which looks more like a relative of Daffy Duck than a Libyan leader.

I'll add to your 80s music references to this: Maybe Rick Springfield can re-release his Rock of Life album track "Honeymoon in Beirut."

-- david

LoraLoo said...

Wow I'm sure we could make quite a trivia list of 80's music with war references...

I really want to be interested in World News. I should be.

Fred said...

When it comes to war, I usually skip the cable networks and watch and read news from the BBC. They have it on BBC America, and I'll catch some of it on the internet. It's much less biased, and gives you an impression of how the rest of the world views the U.S.