Saturday, January 18, 2014

Dutch-Arabic translation for the STL

And so the proceedings of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon in The Hague have kicked off. Before anyone goes on harping and teaching me about March 14, I must first say that I was one of the first who arrived there in 2005 and one of the last to leave. Still, the TSL is now a stale footnote (more like stale funded footnote!) in the events which have occurred since then in Lebanon and the region.
I have previously discussed how the Hariri legacy was squandered (media-wise and in extenso politically) due to over-exposure. All of this makes me remember today this plaque I saw in Amsterdam (that's in Holland too where The Hague (Lahay) is!), as I was walking with my Dutch host.
Looking down I read this Arabic bronze plaque, intrigued I asked what the Dutch side said. Quizzically my host answered "translation from one language to another?" - which is exactly what the Arabic says. In other words, there was nothing to translate but translation itself - that's a bit of a Borges-ian nightmare where you are always going back and forth between eternity and square one. The STL is like that today, caught in the limbo between indifference and irrelevance.
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