Distinct Arab dialects saves the day for this Lebanese:
A Doha court has acquitted a Lebanese of blasphemy charges saying that words uttered by one person could be understood differently by another person coming from a different region.
Differences in dialect amongst Arabs is quite extensive but makes for memorable times. For instance, while opening a bank account here in the UAE, the Emirati Account Executive told me that once everything is ready, “bitroushlak yea-ha”.
I replied, “Excuse me?!”
Lebanese dialect: she just told me that she will paint it for me, which makes no sense. That was when she repeated the sentence but this time added, “bitroushlak yea-ha bil bareed”. The translation of the last part is “by mail”. That’s when I had a lightbulb moment: she’s not going to paint it but rather send it. Thankfully she elaborated; the situation was getting awkard very quickly.
Then there’s my all-time favorite dialect episode when my Jordanian male friend said, “Baddi rawou-weh”. To me, that means, “I want to have an aborption”. It apparently means that “I need to make a move” or “I need to get going”.
So back to the original story – saved by a dialect. Too bad dialect was not an issue for this other Lebanese man:
A Doha court has handed down a Lebanese man three-year imprisonment and subsequent deportation for uttering blasphemous words.
Here’s the funny part:
The crime was particularly serious as the accused was a Muslim, the court said.
Of course, non-Muslims are going to burn in hell anyway so they deserve lighter sentences.