To continue the theme, begun before Thanksgiving, of oddly named business establishments in the Middle East . . . here are three (somewhat scatalogical) additions. The funniness, the quirkiness here, the NQR, must be mostly attributed to our Western perspective in reading and understanding. Certainly these names haven’t been invented just to be funny. They pass, unnoticed, through the daily lives of many thousands of people. So we must conclude that it is us, not them, with a skewed perspective.
The first, Mohammad Ibrahim Law Firm, bills itself (on its website) as a ‘highly adequate service.’ As if this weren’t oxymoronic enough, it also announces its presence to greater Muscat, Oman, via a largish billboard overlooking the main Ministry District overchange. This billboard attracts a fair amount of attention, at least from Westerners, because it uses the firm’s initials as a handy moniker: M.I.L.F.
The second, on a street corner in Rabat, Morocco, is part of a successful chain, like KFC for Francophiles. Our hosts in Rabat assured us that the chicken is very good. The billboard certainly doesn’t appear to be ashamed of itself. We never ate at any of these locations, unable to overcome our own, more Anglicized, interpretation of the name.
And, finally, what must certainly be the most bizarre and unattractive of all the odd names we encountered throughout our travels . . . this sweet shop in Abu Dhabi. We snapped the photo while driving along the street, having seen the sign, then grabbing frantically for the camera, before (just barely) managing to get the photo as traffic whisked us away. What, on earth, were these folks thinking, the owners (or their English translators/consultants) when they put together their brand and their billboard?