Monday, June 30, 2014

Is "Achra Abid Zghar" a racial slur?

Achra Abid Zghar! Based on Agatha Christie's book "Ten Little Niggers" which itself is based on the nursery rhyme "Ten Little Indians" (for the American edition the title was changed into "And Then There Were None" just like the nursery rhyme now uses "soldier boys" instead of "Indians").
In Arabic the word "Abd" or "Slave" is used interchangeably for "person with dark skin". So the literal title of "Achra Abid Zghar" which originally aired in 1974 on Tele Liban means "Ten Little Slaves/Persons of Dark skin". For Ramadan 2014, MTV is airing a new version of the show, apparently rewritten but "with Agatha Christie influences" (so says the intro "min ajwa2 Agatha Christie") but of course - kept the same original name, racial slur included.
Above you can see the title taken from the intro - both old and new. So here's the question: Is the title derogative?
Should MTV have changed the title to reflect more racial senstibility in today's world?
Or should the title remain the same because - duh - that's the name of the work anyhow (it's like rewriting Mark Twain's "Huckleberry Finn" while omitting the 219 "nigger" words that are mentionned).
Gandour, our national pastry confectionary changed the name of "Ras el Abd" (Literally "tete de negre") into Tarboush as a sign of changing times and political correctness, so here's the question:
Should Achra Abid Zghar have changed names for the same reason? And is this a racial slur in the title?
And - just because we are used to it - does this omit the original condescending reference of the word "Abd" in the context?
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