"Biggest Dick" Won't Be Saudi Ambassador
What’s in a name? Ask the question to a man whose name is Akbar Zeb, which means "Biggest Dick" in Arabic.
Shakespeare said, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Perhaps, unless you translate it into Arabic. Akbar Zeb was recently rejected by Saudi Arabia when he was proposed to be Pakistan’s ambassador to the country. He had previously served as the Pakistani Ambassador to Canada.
Mr. Zeb’s rejection for the position was not because he lacked in credentials, but because of his name's translation.
David Kenner wrote in a blog, “One can only assume that submitting Zeb’s name to a number of Arabic-speaking countries is some unique form of punishment designed by the Pakistani Foreign Ministry.”
Indeed one could agree with Mr. Kenner learning that he was previously rejected for the same position by the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
Arabs are known to be fascinated by words such as "biggest," "largest," and "tallest." Perhaps they would like to reserve those adjectives for themselves. This was evident from the construction of Al Burj in Dubai, where the authorities hid all statistics about the building prior to its completion, for fear of someone beating them to erecting the tallest building.
It was not clear whether the ambassador would be acceptable to the Arab countries if his name would translate into “Smallest Dick” instead. If the Pakistan government is hellbent on placing Akbar Zeb as the country's ambassador to an Arab country, they may have better success changing Mr. Zeb's name.