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The Dangers of Not Knowing Arabic

Earlier this morning I wrote that the Washington Post had gotten ‘Abdullah al-Midhar’s name wrong for what I called “reasons passing understanding.”

Those reasons have now become clear to me, particularly after I read this CNN report, which repeated the same mistake.

So – for reasons passing understanding – I spent the next 15 minutes looking through the English language mirror sites of official Yemeni media until I found the article that misidentified al-Midhar. It was an article from 26th of September, the English version.

Now, I have no idea whether or not Sudarsan Raghavan knows Arabic or not, but there is a danger in only relying on English language reports out of Yemen – many things, and not just small details on someone’s name can be missed.


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