Billboards like this have been popping up all over the U.S. put up by the United States Army. Their purpose is to recruit Arabic-speaking Americans to be translators in the Arab world, specifically Iraq. I saw a story on this on the news last night. Since my husband is an ex-Marine, a linguistic major, and a student of Arabic, I found the topic intriguing! So I watched the story. They interviewed the average "Joe-on-the-street" about their reaction to these signs. Now, I admit I was taken by surprise a little by the army's in-your-face tactics for this recruiting, since most Americans think of the Arab/Army relationship negatively. I expected these interviews to either reveal a populus of Arab-phobes or vice-versa people preaching tolerance and not really tackling the topic accurately. What resulted was a surprise to me! What resulted was absoulte IGNORANCE! One lady said, "I can't even read that! Who are they trying to reach?" That roused a chuckle out of me. Oh you simpleton. Go on to the next interviewee... Little did I know the next guy was going to be even worse! "What is that up there?" He says. "Is that Hebrew? Latin? I can't read it."
Does that man even KNOW where his English alphabet even COMES FROM??? I was incredulous.
Please, someone tell me that there are intelligent people in America and that intelligent conversations still exist. I don't care if the billboard bothers you, just tell me that you recognized the language!!! In a country that's absorbed with a war in the Middle East and images from Iraq are plastered everywhere, how could one NOT recognize this language? Maybe I'm too quick to judge, but with the whole "Miss South Carolina" thing so fresh in my memory, I am quickly losing faith in the intelligence of our nation!
For the scoop on the Miss South Carolina thing...gah. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww